Monday, March 26, 2012
What's Your Secret Weapon?
At this point energy and desire are ahead of the capability to exercise in my usual routine. I walk now, but slower and less far, and my body is feeling and showing the effects. The abs I worked so hard to keep firm are taking advantage of the situation to push out my waistbands, much like the grass that has overcome the winter soil is springing out it's early 'hello'. But I'm confident even this handicap will be overcome.
Recently I shared some thoughts at a ladies' meeting at church on the discipline of exercise. As I was sorting through what to say, I was reminded of God's call to Moses to lead his people out of Eygpt. When Moses hesitated and wanted to know why Pharoah would listen to him, God asked Moses, "what's in your hand?" God proceded to show him some secret weapons in his arsenal, Moses didn't even know he possessed; a staff that turned serpentine and a pocket that could carry leporsy.
I began to think about what was in my hand. What had God given me in the fight for discipline of the body? For starters, I was born into a family that believed in living simply. That objective was helped by a pastor's salary and traditions of the Mennonite faith. While growing up there were times I resented wearing hand-me-downs and having to mix the more expensive, sugary cereal favorites with the economic boring staples like Cornflakes and Wheaties. These 'hardships' have forged a weapon of Self Denial that keeps me from treating myself to the candy bar in the checkout isle or helps me to say no to a latte when someone from work makes a run to the cafe. (There are definitely times when a YES is justified!)
God also created me with a desire and coordination for sports. This set me on a path for enjoying outdoor activity and tasting the discipline of keeping in shape. After experiencing mental distress and anxiety during college, I looked forward to physical exercise and its endorphin therapy. The practice became a habit. Wherever I have lived for any length of time, God has graciously given me a place to keep on walkin'. There was the path by the canal in town, a quiet country road with just enough friendly neighbors enroute to make me feel safe, and now a subdivision with a few slopes to boost my heartrate. He used these gifts and needs to fashion the weapons of Strength-in-Weakness and Stick-to-it-ness.
But I had to learn how to wield them and the Commander in Chief had to remind me they were in my hand to be used or they would lose their effectiveness. When I realized any success in this area started from gifts or challenges uniquely fitted for me, I was humbled and filled with awe. Even being able to carry out a discipline is because God is faithful and always there to help me.
So what are the secret weapons God has given you? Only secret because you haven't realized what you possess. What has He set in place in your life for success in discipline? Is it a way of life that gives you an understanding that others may not have? A friend or family member with resources and knowledge you can learn from? A strength that was honed through a painful circumstance? Take inventory of your arsenal and be thankful for all that God has placed in your hand.
Let's go! There's gotta be a work-out to rock-out to somewhere in this stockpile...