I can remember when I valued exercise as a very vital, necessary part of my daily life. Back in the 1980’s there was this exercise show on TV called, “The Twenty Minute Workout.” I stumbled upon it one morning after I fed my toddler son breakfast and he was happily playing with his toys. In my early days of mamma hood I often left the TV on just for background noise, to keep me company, I guess. At the time, I hadn’t learned the importance of letting God and His Word keep me company!! Those were the days when I was still fickle and inconsistent in my relationship with Him, finding my way back after years of going my own way.
Sad, but true.
The Twenty Minute Workout was hosted by a woman whose name has escaped me. She and 2 other beautiful women with sculpted bodies and cute coordinating leotards, complete with leg warmers and tights, instructed the viewing audience in a highly energized aerobic fitness routine. I sat and watched that first time, completely enthralled.
The next morning, I donned sweatpants and a t-shirt (cute leotards, tights and the leg warmers would come later) and with all the determination and gusto I could muster, I not only watched, I joined them right there in the living room of my apartment. I’m so glad there was no one but my little boy to watch me moving around the room like that, moving my body in ways that made my bones and muscles squeal with delight. Yes, delight. Because I was hooked.
I started on an aerobic fitness journey for the next 10 years that kept me fit and focused and did wonders for my poor self-esteem. After a couple of years, The Twenty Minute Workout was completely embedded in the halls of my memory bank. I no longer needed the TV. I could take my workout with me everywhere I went and, believe me, I did. When Jazzercise came to town during those lean years I soon learned that 20 minutes of aerobics was no longer enough for me. Jazzercize became my new thing! Three to 4 times a week I danced to music with a roomful of other women for hour-long sessions of intense dance routines that left me breathless.
How I wish I could find my exercise-happy these days. I’m so fickle and inconsistent with exercise that sometimes I just want to scream, “Jesus, PLEASE! Help me take care of this old body. Help me find something….ANYthing…that I love as much as The Twenty Minute Workout!” (Doesn’t sound very spiritual, I know, but I really, really loved that workout and I’ve never found any other exercise I love as much.)
See…it’s important we love it or else we won’t want to do it.
We’re already eight days into 2016. And, guess what? I’ve not even gone for one 40 minute walk around town.
And I used to enjoy walking.
I’ve been feeling kinda puny lately. Back in December some health issues creeped into my life and I’m not going to lie…they were kinda serious. After an initial trip to the emergency room, I’ve been passed from doctor to doctor, been wheeled around on more than one gurney for more than one test, and I’m still not done. As one doctor stated, “It might take several tries before you get an answer.”
I haven’t felt much like exercising, but I’ve noticed something….in the last couple of months I’ve gone from walking to standing to sitting.
A LOT of sitting.
And I don’t like it at all.
This morning I was thinking of Psalm 1 where the idea of walking…not standing…not sitting…
speaks to a man who is blessed. A man who is happy. A man who finds delight in the law of the Lord. A man who finds his happy-place by meditating on God’s Word and then living it out.
A man who doesn’t walk in the counsel of the wicked but walks in the counsel of his God.
A man who doesn’t stand in the path of sinners but walks in the path of righteousness.
A man who doesn’t sit in the seat of mockers but walks to the throne of grace.
This man is so happy he’s like a tree. A flourishing tree. A tree with a healthy life and breath and soul prosperity. A tree with strong branches and leaves and spirit fruit. A tree with a mighty trunk and bark and godly roots. A tree where the heart of it is fed water from fresh streams that never run dry.
Man won’t receive all this goodness lying down day after day, just staring at his Bible. Oh no. He must open it. And read it. And study it. And ponder it. And embed it upon his memory bank so he can take it wherever he goes.
And then…then…he must put it to practice. He must sit up. He must get up. He must walk it out, exercising his faith with assurance that all he has and all he needs is found in Jesus, the Living Word.
I’ve come a long way in my walk with Jesus since those early days of my return. I’m not as fickle as I used to be, but I’m not as consistent as I want to be. Yet, of this I’m sure…
The counsel of God is my plumbline.
The path of righteousness is my guideline.
The throne of grace is my bloodline.
The Word of God is my lifeline.
And I am so incredibly blessed. I’m not just happy, I’m delighted. Loving the Word has become part of my fitness journey of faith. I want to read it, know it, live it.
Because I am hooked.
“How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.” Psalm 1:1-3