Monday, January 10, 2011

I'm Ready

Well, perhaps not totally ready.

This is a picture of my family room after delivery and 2-day effort to put together the new treadmill. My cleaning lady came in on Friday, and just laughed. The monstrous box was delivered on Tuesday and I didn’t have the heart to ask the delivery guy to haul it upstairs to the room where the old treadmill used to be, so I decided to put it in the family room.

Opening the box, I was surprised to see a jillion pieces, and instructions “to be carried out by two persons.” So, me, myself and I set about putting it together. I got enough exercise for a week, I think, in getting it thus far. It’ll probably take me another week to pick up the trash and cut up the box so the trash man will take it. Oh, then there is some programming to be done on the thing, but I figure having done the first 15 steps of the instructions the last 3 should be a snap. Maybe.

Then I’ll be ready! Well, in thinking about it, I guess I’ll be about as ready as I am with the rowing machine and the weight-training machine both of which sit largely unused upstairs.

I’ve always read that God reads the intentions of our hearts ---- doesn’t that count with exercising too?

I have some friends who are very good with exercise programs. They do so many minutes or hours a day or week, they have the best diets of the best foods and read the best books on health and blog on the best websites with others who are doing just as well as they are. And they feel great! But sometimes I wonder if they have time for anything else. It seems that all they want to talk about is exercises and foods, but haven’t read the paper nor get to church too often. I guess you can go overboard with too much, or too little.

I have other friends who have a beautiful bible, great Christian CDs they listen to, and glance at really good Christian books about improving their relationship with God. As a group, however, they tend to fall in that class of people who work all the time, or stress about work-related things. One recently went on an expensive vacation and came back and told me how she really didn’t like the extravagance of everything she saw, especially amidst some of the surrounding poverty. But she still went, and I wouldn’t be surprised if next year I hear the same laments.

I’m ready to get serious about exercising. Another friend is ready to get serious about managing her finances. Another friend is ready to get serious about living a life as a Christian. We’re all ready. But I guess that’s not good enough. We fool ourselves if we say these are our intentions, implying they will lead to actions. Only actions count, not intentions.

Even with God. He reads our hearts and knows our intentions, but it only matters if those intentions lead to actions. Actions may have good, bad, or no results, but actions speak to our real intentions.

As for me and my exercising program, I plan to create a simple plan of action: I will use one of the dozen or so calendars mailed to me to track my daily exercises and progress--- or lack thereof. No room on the calendar for reasons why I failed on some days, just blank spaces there. I’ll not hide from it, not see it, nor try to proclaim greater priorities. On the table, I’ll see that calendar every night ---- and I trust guilt, if nothing else, will spur me on.

There’s a practical reason for me wanting to get serious about an exercise program. I’m not so worried about weight, although I could stand to lose 10 or 15 pounds, but I am concerned with my ongoing ability to lift and care properly for my mom. If I am too weak or lack endurance, I may find myself failing at something I view as critically important for me to do. And so I will design a program to achieve this critically important thing. I feel I have to.

So, what’s critically important with you that you are not achieving? Is getting to heaven later or getting closer to God now critically important to you? It should be. Do you have the bibles, the CDs and the books? Are you ready to move into a closer relationship with God, which will benefit not only you, but all those you meet? BEING READY ISN’T ENOUGH!! What’s your action plan? How will you hold yourself accountable? How will you check your progress?

If I stick to my plan, I expect to feel better. If you are able to stick to a plan to strengthen your faith life, you will feel better also. I know. I already went through that program. It was long; it was hard; it was hard to keep at it, but BOY, do I feel good. And now, the maintenance program is pretty simple.

I wish you a New Year of much improved health, my friends, physical and spiritaul. Let’s see some action out there!

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