Back into shape

I’ll be honest, it’s been a long year or so. Breaking my knee did me in worse than I thought. Yes, I did take time with the physical therapy, and that helped a lot. I took it easy on the heavy bag and I didn’t really lift weights (you have to lift with your knees you know). Of course, in doing so, I took away two things that mean a lot to me. These were ways in which I recharged, refreshed and renewed.

This morning, I started up again. Well, at least to the best of my ability. You see, I have this bad habit of always trying to start back up again where I left off. If I was benching x amount of weight, when I had taken a long hiatus, I tried to bench x amount of weight again. Epic fail. I left hurting and wanting to puke and that made things harder to get back into action once again. But I kept going through that vicious cycle. I’d start at it where I left off, feel sick, sore and tired and not go back at it again.

That also created another issue too–I didn’t get into the habit. And that’s what’s needed: the habit. The habit of working out. The habit of disciplining oneself to do these things.

One thing I have learned is that disciplining oneself is very important. What do I mean by that? When I talk about discipline I don’t mean “Go to your room” what I mean is taking the time to train oneself daily to do something. People who run marathons, who play football, who do any kind of sports, train themselves.

In fact, as a believer that’s what we’re told to do, to train ourselves. Paul writes to his protege Timothy and says “Train yourself in Godliness.” Pay attention to these things. Make sure you do them on a regular basis.

This is called spiritual discipline. And we are to train our selves spiritually as much as we train ourselves physically. Spiritual training is important for you. It is important in all your comings and goings. Why? Because it makes you spiritually healthy. And when we’re spiritually healthy, it helps us physically and emotionally too. It produces in us something stronger, something more vital than anything from GNC could ever give.

Spiritual discipline begins with prayer. It begins with staying in prayer. When we come to God in prayer, we’re able to stand firm in Him. We’re able to be in contact with Him. We’re able to be moved and changed by Him. And when you get into the habit of praying, the discipline of praying, you begin lifting heavier weights. Each time in prayer builds up you ability to pray. Don’t neglect prayer.

So many times we hear about these people who can pray for hours on end. You don’t have to start there. You can start small. Just like when I started up with my weights again, I didn’t go back to what I used to do. I knew that I couldn’t do that just yet. Instead, I started small. And it took a lot out of me but I feel better. I don’t feel awful, I don’t feel like I’m going to puke. The same is true with prayer. When we start out with too much, we push ourselves too hard and get tired of it and don’t want to do it. Start off small. Start off with light weight and build up to heavier things.

Just don’t stop it. Make it into a habit. Make it into a daily routine. Make it part of our daily life. The same is true with reading God’s word. Don’t neglect it. Don’t shy away from it. Stay on top of it. Don’t start out saying “I’m going to read the whole book of 1 Chronicles.” Start out easy and small. Start by reading the first chapter of Mark. And move from there. But start. Start and build your way up. Start and move forward.

Be disciplined in these matters. Train yourself in Godliness and be diligent in doing so. You can do it.

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