08 Jun Appearances vs Reality
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
Ephesians 2:10 ESV
I just started exercising again after having stopped for about a year. The main reason had to do with some health issues I had experienced. But, I believe I used that as an excuse to slack off in that area. I mean, It’s pretty easy to NOT exercise. Even though, I’m not overweight and have actually lost more weight than I’ve wanted to (due to illness), I am definitely NOT in shape. It’s unbelievable how easy it is to see a thin person walk by us and assume they’re healthy. And then we go ahead and see a not-so-thin person and think they overindulge in food. The judgment really does need to stop. We live in a society where the world is at our finger-tips (social media) and we are able to see all of the body-shaming being done through horrible words and actions. Ok, rant over.
Summer is right around the corner. You know what word comes to mind: bathing suits. Many of us go through the motions of exercising in order to look our best during the swimsuit season. But, if we haven’t been consistent in our regimen, we’re going to realize fairly quickly that we aren’t as physically healthy as we may have thought otherwise. That is exactly what happened to me.
My first day at getting back into the flow of exercising was a great experience. I knew I did not want to overdo it. I paced myself and only did the routines I was able to. But, the next day…it’s always that day after! My legs felt all wobbly and jiggly like Jello. I had trouble bending down just to help my son go potty. I knew I was in serious trouble. I couldn’t even sit or stand without feeling all that pain! Even though I physically looked healthy, my appearance was deceptive to the reality of the situation: I was weak and out of shape.
As followers of Christ, our outward appearance and actions do not always correlate to our spiritual health. What we look like on the outside means nothing if we are not putting in the effort towards our internal state. Exercise requires commitment and hard work. So does living our lives for Christ. The term Christian doesn’t make us immune to the heavy lifting. It’s the exact opposite. We need to pick up those weights and be strengthened to continue our mission for God. There are people waiting for us to reach out. We can’t afford to slack off.
Life is so much like exercising. It can be painful and so exhausting. But, once you get into the rhythm of things, you’re able to know what you can handle and what you cannot. And when God is in the picture, His supernatural strength aids you in the areas that you really can’t do yourself.
For me, exercising is not something I enjoy doing. I have to be purposeful in planning my day to include this. If not, I won’t do it. But, I know that I’ll be my healthiest when I’m deliberate about my eating and exercise habits. I also know that I need to be spiritually strengthened to keep moving forward, connecting with others and helping them move along, as well. “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” I don’t know who wrote that, but it’s true. And one way we can toughen up is by committing to our physical, mental and spiritual exercises.
We are designed by Christ to do His good works. We will need our energy and stamina to keep up and keep moving. Let us get through this journey of life on a strong note!