Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I Work Out

“I know it’s hard.  But don’t get down on yourself.  It’s a process.  And I promise, you are going to love the results!” (Hebrews 12:11 RSV)

I’d like to think that I have some hobbies.  For one, though I don’t get to do it as often as I would like, I really enjoy writing.  Some of it ends up here, some no one will ever read.  Nonetheless, I enjoy it.  I also like to read, drink coffee, smoke the occasional cigar, and go for long walks on the beach. 

Just Kidding.

But seriously, I like those too.

Anyway, I also like to work out.  To be honest, I think it is more I like to have finished working out.  It’s a great discipline and I appreciate the stress release and other gains I receive.

One of the additional benefits is getting to spend time with people.  Instead of sitting stuffing our faces, working out with someone allows me to have a similar conversation and create a net physical gain.  I like to call that a win…win.

Being at home allows me the chance to workout with my parents.  A few times a week my dad and I will do some sort of lift/cardio at the gym.  On Saturdays, Mom joins and we get some coffee afterward.  Then, we go to Home Depot, only if there’s enough time.  Ok, we don’t do the last one.

More recently, my mom has asked me to workout with her in the mornings and show her some lifts a few times a week.  I am by no means an expert, but I would like to think I could offer a thing or two.

If you have ever lifted, you know that starting (or getting back into it) creates some serious soreness the following few days, maybe even weeks.  Not deterred, Nance has done an awesome job of keeping up the regime.

Recently however, we ran into a bit of a problem.

While lifting, it was clear ‘it’ wasn’t present.  I don’t know what ‘it’ is, but you know what I’m talking about.  The thing that motivates us, drives us, keeps us going.  Gatorade wants you to think you can just “drink it.” And Nike thinks that if you just wear their clothes you are able to just “do it.” 

That’s crap.

Some days we just don’t have the same energy, attitude, perseverance, or output to get the ideal effort done.  I think those days then reveal us most aptly.  Are we willing to push through?  How do we see ourselves in these moments?  How do we respond?

In this particular workout, Nance was struggling with some of the lifts.  Her arms were tired and sore.  She wasn’t able to give the output she most wanted.  At one point, she finished a set and said, “I am terrible. What a waste of time.”

To be honest, this made me so mad!

I couldn’t exactly put my finger on why, but I borderline scolded her.  I told her that she isn’t allowed to talk like that and that if she gave all that she had, whatever it was, it would be acceptable.

I think when we try to make a change, we want to see the results right away.  And when we don’t we get really discouraged; and oftentimes go back to the way things used to be.

As I have continued to think about that interaction with my Mom, I have only begun to wonder what God thinks.  Is it possible that he is training me for something?  That on some days, the energy just isn’t there.

That I just don’t have “it.”

In these moments, either in lack of obedience, laziness, or fill in the blank, I think I am too quick to give up and respond, “I am terrible.  What a waste of time.”  I see myself giving up too easily; yes on my own person, but more importantly on the being that God is shaping.

And while I am not necessarily able to see or understand where he is taking me, what he is shaping me for, shouldn’t I trust the one who knows best; who knows me best?

Even though we live in a world that demands results, I think God very much cares about the process.  And while he doesn’t love to see us stumble and fall, I think he loves it when we look to him to pick us up; to dust us off and help us regain sight of where we are headed. 

It’s not an easy process, but when it’s all said and done, our trainer’s sculpting likens us more and more to himself; an image we have in part, but are waiting to realize fully.

Until then, it is our job to listen to His voice and to carefully carry out the exact exercises He puts before us; in spite of whether or not we feel we have ‘it.’

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