As I sit watching television, I see many commercials and talk show topics that are common this time of the year. They tell us how we can take off those pounds we added with all the holiday food with certain diet and exercise plans. Along with these plans, exercise equipment is also being shown and what the end results will be from using the equipment at least three times a week. The goal is to look like a’ perfect ten’ by summer!
Now, many of you know that I live with and I’m married to a physical therapist and it does have its benefits with the occasional injury as well as a free shoulder massage every now and then. With this package, however, always comes the case for exercise! If you have ever been a physical therapy patient, you know that there are modalities that they use with you in the clinic and then you are sent home with a home exercise program to do in between the visits. Jim says that you can tell when one is doing their exercises by the progression a patient makes from visit to visit. Yes, even when I complain about that shoulder pain, Jim will say “you aren’t doing those exercises I showed you.” Or, when I complain about my dress size, he simply looks at my bike that is made stationary in our room for the winter months with my jacket hanging on it and says “go figure!” Once again Jim points out that in order for me to get results and to feel better overall, I must quit using the bike as a coat rack and actually get on the bike and ride at least three times a week for at least a half an hour at a time. This all sounds simple but at the same time it also takes much discipline.
Our spiritual health works the same way. We want a relationship with Christ with all the benefits that come with it. But, do we always exercise our faith on a daily basis? With a relationship with Christ, spiritual exercise is required everyday. So, as the year begins, I thought I would help you out with your own ‘home exercise program.’
The first exercise on this program is when you first wake up in the morning. Give God praise and thanksgiving for waking you up. Place your plans, obstables and appointments into His hands for the day. Then, remember as a good friend of mine would always say “God has a plan and it is a good plan.”
Secondly, read your bible daily. There are many wonderful daily devotional books out there to help you get on this track. If you are in a small group at church, you may have a daily reading with your study. As you read the scriptures, keep a notebook and write down how God is speaking to you through the scriptures.
Thirdly, I encourage people to keep a blessings journal. At the end of each day, write in this journal at least five blessings that God has placed in your life for that particular day. You will be amazed that as time goes by, that list of five will mulitply.
The fourth exercise in this program is to be aware of God’s presence as you go through your day. Be aware of where you may see Him and experience Him. No matter the business of the day, stay focused on God. Also, carry this scripture with you; ” Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition,with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 For me personally, when I stay focused on God and seek to see Him and experience Him during the day, the day goes much better.
Last but certainly not least, attend church. It is through our fellowship with other believers who also keep our spiritual health well and alive. We have so much to learn from each other through studying the scriptures, sharing thanksgivings, prayers as well as encouraging one another.
Now, you have a ‘home exercise’ program that will help keep you spiritually fit so that you will be that ‘perfect ten’ when you are presented before your king. If you have other exercises that you like doing to keep your spiritual health in shape, please feel free to share with me in the comment section. I would love to hear from you. In the meantime, I will be taking my coat off the bike and will begin to ride and as I ride, I will be in conversation with God. Thus, keeping my physical and spiritual health in shape.
- Joy to the World – Spiritual Blessings for All — Lectionary Meditation for 2nd Sunday after Christmas (pastorbobcornwall.blogspot.com)
- Experiencing the Exercises of St Ignatius (bpdt.wordpress.com)