Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Praying for Strength During Weight Training

I love to work out!  I love to eat healthy food!  I once read in an Oxygen magazine that everyone works out primarily in order to be sexy.  It proclaimed "Well, maybe there are some nuns out there who don't want to be sexy, but..."  Okay.  Consider me a nun.  That isn't why I work out. 

It is very easy to look around the gym and judge others and oneself.  One can say "Well at least I'm lifting more than her!" or "I can bench press far  more than he can!"  But seriously, it doesn't get anyone anywhere.  It's easy to think "I have to meet my fitness goal" or "I need to look better than I do."  Fitness goals are commendable but that really isn't the point. 

I pray when I go to the gym.  I pray that God will direct me to do what He knows I can do and that He will make of my physique what He needs it to be.  I focus on functionality.  I want to be able to have the physical strength to help others in times of need, be able to help in rescue or reconstruction after natural disasters, or anything else the Lord would want me to do.  After all, He gave me this body in the first place, free and clear from deformity and capable of service to others.  Isn't it fitting that I ought to form and chisel it with His service in mind?

And the result?  I am stronger than I probably appear.  I find it relaxing to twist my form into a pretzel and have become all but oblivious to the cries of the world, which say "You have to look this way or be able to run marathons."  (I cannot run marathons to save my life.  I am a devastatingly talented sprinter, though.)  When you recognize that you are doing the best you can with what God gave you and you are doing it for a deeper purpose than competition or appearance, it frees you from the need of worry, self doubt, pride, competitiveness and the like.  You are your own person and have your own role to play in this world, and no one can make you feel either inferior or proud.   

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