Work Out

I've regularly exercised for most of my life. Not because I love it, but because it benefits me; it loves me. As a child I spent most of my time on my bike, in a pool, or playing Freeze-Tag or one of its variations, TV Tag anyone? When I grew older I had an indoor exercise bike that I rode to nowhere. I took an aerobics class in college taught by a teacher who was in love with James Taylor, Fleetwood Mac, and Don McLean. 

Somehow jumping around to, "Bye-bye Miss American Pie," didn't get my heart rate up, though it did give me shin splints in both legs. Sigh

After I married I bought a treadmill and continued my quest for fitness. Then came babies and the treadmill was another rack for my clothes. 

I joined some health clubs over the years:

The karate place - smelled like feet, I couldn't get past the stink.

The women's-fitness-in-a-circle place - the small talk was dizzying.

The Judgement-Free-Zone place - too many people, too many machines, too much of other people's sweat on the machines....ew

I didn't fit in at any of those places. It took time to realize that this introverted woman was much happier working out in the comfort of her own home. Alone. With only the dog to watch. I went shopping and bought myself another exercise bike and I, once again, daily ride to nowhere. 

I realize I'm different than most people. But I'm okay with that. 

See, I'm used to being different.

1 John 2:15-17
15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.   (NIV)

Romans 12:1-2
1Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.  (NIV)

I don't feel comfortable in certain environments because of who I am. And I don't feel comfortable in this world because who I am in God. The world offers me things that look like I'll enjoy them. Certain television shows, attitudes, entitlement, fashions, and even things disguising themselves as Godly. I've learned to listen to that feeling of discomfort, that check in my spirit, that knowing whisper that this is wrong.

It's a daily sacrifice to not do what the world is doing. Everyone --even other Christians -- may watch that show or read that book or say those words, but that doesn't make it right. We need to be less concerned with being culturally relevant and more concerned with being Biblically grounded. The Word of God should be our standard, not what popular blogger so-and-so says. I've been called a goody-goody by other Christians and it makes me sad. Not for myself, because I'm not living to please them, my focus is on living to please the one I'm spending eternity with and if He wants me to avoid something then I'll do it. I feel bad for those who have been blinded by their own desires, who can't see past the moment, who are missing out on the victorious Christian life that God is offering. 

There is so much more He has for you. If you could grasp it you'd never let go.

Just like working out every day strengthens my body, working out our salvation strengthens the spirit. Stretching hurts, I don't enjoy the different moves that the fitness instructor on YouTube teaches me, but it feels better afterwards. I've found I'm able to move a little easier each day. Stretching our spiritual lives is much the same way. 

When you begin to spend time in the Word and allow God to speak to you through His Holy Spirit you're drawing closer to Him. Each step closer to Him takes you further away from the world. That's how He intends it to be. That's how He causes us to shine. That's how our light can be seen. The world is watching, be the light. Be different. 


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