Yesterday was my Sabbath and, consequently, the day I choose not to exercise.
There’s a reason I committed to exercising 6 days a week, and it wasn’t because I thought my end goals would be unrealistic if I kept my fitness program to 5 days. The truth is, when I have a day off I’m not eager to begin again. I feel good after a work-out and I’m glad I did it, but I don’t enjoy getting started.
So, when my alarm went off at 6:15, I didn’t want to get up. Night summer rains had left gloomy clouds overhead and, between the dark and the barometric changes, I felt sooooo tired. Still, I got dressed, downed my Plexus Slim, and tied my running shoes.
Good morning to you too.
I was moving slow, my body felt heavy, and Theresa Tapp was just a little too perky. My form did not feel strong. I was just sure I couldn’t be getting much out of it… but I was more sure that if I sat down like I wanted I might not get up and move tomorrow either. And so I had to keep reminding myself of my “Why”.
Why am I doing this?
Goals are good. Having a standard to measure success is normally a good motivator, except building muscle tone and getting into my wedding dress are not truly my “Why”.
I have all kinds of good reasons to take care of myself, and goals that I can set:
To feel well.
To set an example for my children.
To be strong so I can stay active and be a good mom to my little people.
Someday I want to be the fun Grandma, not the weak and fragile one.
I like my small clothes. 😉
To please my husband.
I made a commitment to myself.
I told those people on Facebook I was going to do this… huhmmmm.
My “Why” is that for some reason God really chose this, stewardship of my body–His Temple, as a major bone to pick with me. I think He began when a conversation with a friend led me to ask Him to teach me what trusting Him with my health would look like. He started as this still, small voice, but really had to crank up the volume to get me to focus on His message instead of making those excuses, “I should, could, didn’t…I don’t want to,” and so THIS: obedience, is my “Why”. Honoring God with this body He gave me (the only one I get) by doing my part to keep it healthy and strong so I can stand at the ready to go forth and do whatever He calls me to do without any physical excuses to hold me back. He wants me to be faithful to do my part and He is always faithful to do HIS.
I was reading in Acts 20, Paul’s letter to the Ephesian Elders as he prepared to go to Jerusalem and the end. ESV
(22)And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, constrained by the Spirit, not knowing what will happen to me there, (23)Except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me. (24)But I do not account my life of any value not as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” verses 22-24
Paul’s life as a an apostle had not been easy. He had traveled from place to place, working when necessary, building relationships, teaching, preaching, discipling (and disciplining). He was slandered, stoned, and ship wrecked, and still he faithfully ministered the gospel wherever the Lord lead. But now he says the Holy Spirit is preparing him that imprisonment and afflictions await.
That’s just what you want to hear when you’re packing for a trip, isn’t it?
Verse 24 in the Amplified Version say this: “But none of these things move me; neither do I esteem my life dear to myself…
When storms come, your form is bad, and discouragement looms, what will guarantee that you stay the course?
Goals change. When you meet your goal, then what? Too often we slide back into bad habits. Good reasons can be subject to whims… “I don’t feel like it today”, “How did that chocolate make its way into my fridge door?” “I can’t.”
There are days that there are no reasons good enough to keep us putting one foot in front of another, but there is a way. God tells us that,
The heart of man plans his way,
but the Lord establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
Have you committed your plans to the Lord? He will let you know if your plans are from Him and worth pursuing or if maybe you’re losing steam because you went out on a limb by yourself.
In Acts 20, Paul’s was on the Lord’s errand, not His own. His “Why” didn’t change. Regardless of his circumstances, he would not be moved off course. He was driven to complete the responsibility given to Him by God. To finish his “race” well. To disseminate the message of God’s grace and salvation for mankind until God said his turn was finished. He trusted God’s way. That was his “Why”.
What are the things in your life that are worth doing right? What have you dedicated yourself to? Are you committed to the Lord? A marriage? A ministry? Home-schooling? A healthy lifestyle? A budget? Finishing school? Writing a book?
God promises that when we commit our plans to Him, He will establish our steps. He supplies the resolve, the strength, the partners, the tools… He gives supernatural gifts, abilities, and brings about fruit of self-control when we lean in close to Him.
If He authors the purpose, He supplies the way to succeed, but He requires our cooperation.
Our “Why” needs to be greater than mere “good reasons”. It takes the whole, big picture into account. It is a commitment to something, or Someone, greater. Unchanging. Captivating. Worthy. It is greater than our goals. It generates our goals.
Commit your plans to the Lord, and then “none of these will move you.” Resolve. Know your “why”.
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