The New Year is time for getting rid of all those holiday calories. I’ve been working out all my adult life, and I know that there is nothing much you can do about feasting with family and friends. It is part of the celebration of Christ, and I’m not going to be a holiday food snob. Although I don’t go overboard, I do allow myself about a 3-pound weight gain, which is why I love January 1. It’s the time to get the sugar intake under control and lose that extra poundage!
Working out is my favorite way to get back to my preholiday weight. I especially love doing compound exercises that work several muscles at once, including the heart! One exercise that wrecks me every time (in a good way) is the step up split lunge with weights. This is a highly controlled exercise that uses almost every muscle in the body, including the core to control the body’s form.
When watching someone do this exercise, it looks like a piece of cake because the body’s form is so controlled. However, when the person finally finishes and drops her weights, she is leaning over and heaving to catch her breath. I find it interesting that such a difficult exercise can look so simple and almost placid, but the controlled movement is important to prevent injury and adequately work the muscles.
This exercise reminds of two types of people.
God allows us to work our faith muscles in order to grow us spiritually. When some people find themselves in a difficult situation, they are controlled and lean heavily on the Lord. They don’t complain, and they finish their difficult season with strength and stamina. Other people, however, break their form and flail about injuring themselves and even the people around them. It may look like they are working harder than the ones who are controlled, but in actuality they are not building strength; they are hurting themselves.
Here is the stinger. Which group are we in? Are we the ones who stay strong and controlled, trusting in God, or do we complain and worry, sabotaging the peace around us? Just because someone is making a big fuss doesn’t mean her situation is any harder than the person who is standing strong in God. Time will reveal who is relying on the Lord and who is not. One person will walk away a powerhouse of the Holy Spirit and the other a bitter and injured person.
“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” – Romans 5.3-5 (NIV)
This post has been published at Internet Cafe Devotions.