After a lovely spring break, it's back to lessons. I was reflecting on all I have on my agenda this week, and what we really need to focus on in our school work and came to the conclusion that there simply are not enough hours in the day to get it all done. I've taken on the task of completing Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred on top of it all, which is huge, because I hate to exercise. I love being active and outside, walking and working, but I hate exercising for the sake of it. I've been fighting this battle for so long, and the other day, I came to a conclusion--I can't do it. I simply cannot do this. If for the last 10 years of my life I've been thinking about how much I need to train my body for the sake of health and never succeeding, then it's a pretty safe bet that it's not going to get easier or feel better or change anytime soon. Something has to give and it has to be radical. The "just do it" mentality just ain't doin' it.
So the other day I was driving and thinking hard about this, trying to figure out what is missing. It's simple, really--like the keys you run around looking for but all the while you are holding in your hand. I realized that God is missing from my exercise. If in fact my flesh is bent on destruction, sin and death, (and it is!) then my spirit, which is being renewed by God, wants strength and health and long life for the sake of my family and my earthly service to the Lord. But in all this time I have never invited Him into the experience, never asked Him to be in it with me, never admitted that something as "nonspiritual" as exercise could not be accomplished without Him. I think the key word is "admitted." There was that sense that I should hold this back, do this one thing on my own. Certainly God is not interested in being a personal trainer to me for something I really should be able to handle on my own. Stop right there. On the contrary, we cannot separate out the fact that we are flesh and spirit. We are completely fleshly and completely spiritual beings. Therefore, the exercise of our fleshly bodies is as spiritual as it is carnal. As I drove, I found myself inviting the Lord into this experience, but I was so shy about it, so self-conscious, as though He perhaps might turn me down. In short, He didn't. He accepted the invitation with pleasure, and met me in my morning workout in a wonderful and personal way. It was a joy, not a burden, and a meeting with my Father in a way that I want to experience more.
Are my struggles with exercise over? Not by a long shot, I'm sure. But I am encouraged in that I have taken one more stubborn part of my heart and surrendered it to the Lord. I now cannot find a reason why I "can't" do it. Philippians 4:13