Harder Than the First Time

One year and 20lbs laterIt’s harder than the first time. It’s harder to lift weights than the first time. I’ve been lifting off and on since high school. I’ve been doing this for a while. There was a long stretch where I didn’t lift. I gained weight for a variety of reasons. I became unhealthy. And then in Seminary I got back into it and went gangbusters for a while. And then I laid off for a bit. But I still kept at it. Between 2004 and 20010 I kept at it and lost over 100lbs (I told you I gained weight).

And then I went off of it for a while. I’ve written about this before. I’ve written about how I’ve struggled with it. And since my surgery I haven’t touched my weights or weight bench. Up until three weeks ago that is. Last week I posted about becoming disciplined for Lent. And I meant it. And I’ve been working on it. I started working on it before Lent started. But now that we’re in Lent I’m working hard on it so that I can focus myself and focus on Christ.

And it’s harder than I thought it would be to get back into it. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–bad habits are easy to get into and hard to get out of while good habits are hard to get into and easy to get out of. And so I’m working hard to get into the habit. I’m working hard at getting back into it. And living disciplined is hard work.

This isn’t new. The apostle Paul wrote about this. He spoke about living disciplined both physically and spiritually. In fact, the two were intertwined for him.

Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. 1 Corinthians 9:26-27

He lived disciplined so that people would see that what he preached he lived. And this is what I’m supposed to do as well. What I preach I am to live. I preach that we should follow Christ. To follow him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. We are to follow him with all of who we are–physically, emotionally, spiritually.

And so I press on. I press on toward the goal. This Lent, I want to focus on Jesus more. I have doubled my effort in my prayer life, adding more times of prayer to my day. I have added lifting weights three times a week to my life. And it’s hard work. It’s hard work to pay attention, to focus.

But that is what I am doing and will continue to do even after Lent. This Lent I’m working on getting into the habit of focusing on Christ more in my life. What are you doing for Lent?

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