Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Lessons from the Sabbatical--October 8, 2013

I did something this morning that I haven’t done in a year and a half. I thought I could go without it and nobody would know or care. I didn’t think it would make that much of a difference. I thought sleep was more important. I didn’t want to engage in the discipline.

I was fooling myself.
This morning I worked out—something I haven’t done since April of 2012. Yep, I remember the exact day that I stopped. I had worked out for four months prior to that, had dropped some weight, and was feeling very healthy. I kept up with what I was eating, too.
But then I got tired of writing all my meals down, of refusing certain foods, and of trying to come up with unique dinners that my family could enjoy without feeling like I was punishing them. And when I stopped tending to my eating habits, the early morning workout session was soon to follow.
It’s not that I couldn’t do the DVD that I now have memorized. I looked forward to seeing how much further I could push myself. I loved picking up heavier weights when the other weights I was using just didn’t challenge me anymore. I also loved seeing the numbers go down on the scale. And I absolutely adored having to shop for smaller sizes.
And then I hit the brakes. I can’t remember what excuse came first. Maybe it was, “I need more sleep.” It could have been, “I’m bored with this DVD.” I also convinced myself, “I’m healthy enough. I can stop now.”
That first summer after I quit working out and monitoring my food intake was wonderful. I was able to continue to fit into my smaller clothes. And, hey, I didn’t have to work so hard any more. I would even sneak in a sugary drink every now and then (something I hadn’t done in almost three years). And then, almost instantly, those smaller sizes didn’t fit anymore. I was always tired…and grumpy. There were rolls where the skin used to be smooth.
As I was sweating away this morning, a thought occurred to me. This reminds me of another area I have lacked discipline. The excuses are the same:
            “I need more sleep.”
            “I’m bored.”
            “I know enough. I can stop now.”
There are many others, but you get the point. My personal relationship with God often takes a back seat when I am not consciously making the effort to meet with Him daily. Maintaining this relationship is my responsibility. Intimacy with God is not going to magically happen as I ignore the alarm and get another 30 minutes of sleep any more than the pounds are going to come off when choose rest over effort. And even though I was certain that people couldn’t notice a few pounds that had snuck back on, I felt it. Over time, it has definitely become noticeable. Can I continue to fool myself that others won’t also pick up on the fact that I have neglected the Man who saved my life? Hardly.
This lesson is for me: Just as you recommit to a healthier lifestyle, recommit to a healthier relationship with God. And enjoy the positive changes that come from both.

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