Seems like and odd couple if there ever was one. Nevertheless there are some interesting comparisons and lessons to be had if we take a closer look. I’m not big into exercising everyday but I am slowly beginning to develop an appreciation for a daily exercise routine that requires I spend about 20 minutes on the dreaded machine every morning. Yes … I know it’s good for a person to exercise their body daily but I’ve resisted it for so long it felt more natural not to, besides it makes a great place to hang dirty clothes on from time to time. However, now I feel I’ve progressed past that point and decided instead to use it for what it was purposed for. In many ways it’s kind of like God in my life. I know I need him daily in my life to guide me, exercise my faith and grow spiritually but I’ve resisted him for so long it seemed more natural to go without or only check in occasionally. I certainly never ever even seriously considered hanging anything on God totally opting instead to wear the burdens of life myself doing it all my way.
So here I am chugging away on the Treadmill wondering if there’s is anyway possible I’m going to be able to make it through the programed level. You know those pre-program levels they come with that you start with the easiest, level 1, and then you gradually work your way up to the higher and more difficult levels where you should look like Charles Atlas when you finish. Unfortunately, that only happens by staying on the pre-programed course and speeds and slowly building up your stamina as you work through the levels in hopes of someday being able to see your stomach abs again. Course I’m new at this so I’m on the easiest and lowest level but eventually I master level 1, and decide to jump to level 2. As I venture into unknown exercise territory of level 2 I can’t help but wonder what the experts back at Nordictrack have decided what is the appropriate speeds to torture my body with on this new level to get me in shape. I know it must be good for me but as I trod along, longly gazing at the time left, the speed numbered buttons along the right side of the machine start looking awful tempting. Thankfully the experts at Nordictrack have gone to great lengths to provide me with all the choices I need and allow me the free will to modify the speed of the level I’m on at any time. Thank you Nordictrack! Finally the temptation is too much and I succumb and reach out and touch the magic button that provides immediate relief to my aching body although any thoughts of looking like Charles Atlas will certainly have to wait as I make this slight detour on to easy street for this workout. I finish my workout dejected that I was unable to stay the course with the programed level that would eventually have taken me to my goal. Guess I can always try again tomorrow … certainly the treadmill won’t be any worse for wear.
As I sat down and began to cool down from my exhaustive workout I couldn’t help but wonder how much more so is God like the experts at Nordictrack? He knows exactly what I need in my life to get me in spiritual shape and bring me into his Church family of fit and well equipped loving men and women of Christ. He knows it will take time and a dedicated march towards a desired goal with increasing difficulty. He knows and provides all the tools necessary for that purpose i.e. Bible, Church and an endless supply of difficult people in our lives for us to practice and learn how to love. He breaths life into us each new day to give us yet another chance to get it right and practice getting in spiritual shape waiting patiently for us to take just a brief moment out of our day to gaze upward and give thanks and to say I love you. But most of all he gave us free will. The killer app for us to allow sin in our lives OR the must have app for accepting the saving grace of a loving Father in Heaven. The remarkable ability to choose on our own when to push those buttons in our lives that causes us to sin and or take the easier route through life rather than the one we know will lead to the spiritual Charles Atlas and eternal life. I thought to myself how many times I had pushed those buttons in my life overriding what God wanted for me and I wept. Why is it so difficult to stay the course in life and do what is right and good for me? In Romans 7:15 the Apostle Paul laments “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” I’m with you Paul.
The good news is that the rewards are greatest when we trust God the most. I’m pushing less of those button in my life these days and trusting God more and more. I’m not sure If I’ll ever stop tinkering with all of them buttons and messing up the Master’s plan but God has noticed I’m tweaking things a lot less and staying with his ever increasing and abundant plan for my life. I know I’ll never be perfect since our nature will always be to sin but trusting and having faith in the Lord, even just a little causes major changes in your life. I have only to reexamine the last few months of my life to know this truth. God rewards even the most minute movement toward him in faith in our lives to show us the way to trusting him more and more with what’s best for us. Now if I could only just trust those guys at Nordictrack 🙂