Working Out

My son has been encouraging me for several years to add some strength training to my workouts. I finally gave in and asked him to write me a plan. The one he gave me is really a simple plan. I only have a few barbells and not much weight with which to work. I think that most middle school boys could do it without a problem. The plan calls for me to do the workouts 2 times a week with only 2 sets in each workout. Easy. No problem. I used to play football. I used to lift weights. I am a man. I am strong. So about 8 weeks ago, I went to the garage to roll on through this little workout. The first thing on the list was a set of pushups. I got down on the floor to begin. I immediately noticed that something was different. It was a struggle to do what I used to do easily. That ended up being true for the whole workout. It was painful. It was depressing to realize that I am not as strong as I used to be. And then came the day after the workout. I felt like I had been hit by a truck. Every part of my body hurt. I groaned when I stood up. I groaned when I sat down. It wasn’t like I had been sitting on the couch and doing nothing. For the past 3 years, I have been jogging/walking several days a week. I have also been riding my bike several days a week. Those things have been very important for my overall health. But I have not done any strength training in years. It showed. In my mind, I was as strong as I ever was. But my body did not agree with my mind.

So now I am 8 weeks down the line. I have followed the plan as it was given to me. Has it made a difference? Absolutely! Don’t misunderstand. I am still not as strong as I used to be. I doubt I will ever be as strong as I was when I was 18. But I am stronger today than I was 8 weeks ago. I have made progress. Just in the last couple of weeks, I have moved from 2 sets to 3 sets. I still get sore, but it goes away faster than it did 8 weeks ago. I have a goal in mind that I am working towards. I still have a long way to go. But I am improving. I am moving forward.

We are  a little over 2 months into 2021. It is a good time for a spiritual checkup. How are things with you on the spiritual front? I believe that many of us overestimate our spiritual strength and stamina. We may remember a time in our life when we were close to the Lord and spiritually in shape. In our mind, we are still there. But then a test comes, and we realize that maybe we are not as strong as we once were. You can’t live off past experiences with the Lord. We must walk with Him daily. I challenge you to commit yourself to a spiritual workout routine that includes regular Bible reading, prayer, and worship in your local church. Find a Bible reading plan and stick to it. Tons of them are available online. I especially like the Navigator’s Bible reading plans. Their 5x5x5 Plan is a good place to start. Get a notebook and make a prayer list. Get up on Sunday morning and take your place in the worship service. If COVID concerns or other health issues prevent you from attending in person, then participate online. It is a simple routine in one sense. Maybe you used to follow this workout in the past. Now is a good time to recommit yourself to it. You need to work out spiritually. If you will engage with the right attitude and follow the plan consistently, you will likely be spiritually stronger 8 weeks from now than you are today. Remember, a journey of 1000 miles begins with the first step. “Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” (Ephesians 6:10).

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