I have two dumbbells in my office. No, I’m not talking about my family. I’m referring to exercise equipment. The dumbbells symbolize my (tsk-tsk) single-minded dedication to exercise, physical fitness, workouts, diets and overall attention to good nutrition. In other words, all of the good stuff I’m supposed to be doing for a healthy active life.
The label says, “Executive Dumbbells.” What does that mean? What’s the difference between executive and regular dumbbells? I don’t know: Maybe ten bucks?
When is the last time, I actually used the dumbbells? Ouch! Bad Question, for me. Let me simply say… “It’s been a long time.” How does the old saying go? I know I’ve sinned Lord but I’ve got some really great excuses. By the way, the dumbbells aren’t the only unused items lying around.
If you take a walk through my house, you will find several pieces of exercise equipment gathering dust. My stair climber is particularly good for hanging dirty shirts. A quick peek at my library will show more than a dozen books on diets, exercise and weight control. I can truthfully say that I have read at least the first chapter of each book. Every January while making New Year’s resolutions, I faithfully look for another book and every February, the same book lies unread.
Confession Time: When it comes to exercise and weight management, I don’t use the dumbbells or the stair climber or follow the advice offered by my books. In other words, I am the dumbbell.
I don’t need more exercise equipment or books as much as I need a healthy dose of discipline. For me, discipline is simply my day by day willingness to put in practice what I know to be important steps to a healthier lifestyle: more exercise and better eating habits.
It is very obvious that I need more discipline in maintaining my physical health: So one New Years resolution is to be more disciplined about exercise and diet.
What about my spiritual health? Yes, discipline is important here, too. Questions to consider: How is my daily prayer life? Do you regularly read the Bible? Are we active members of a local church? Is my spiritual life being challenged by regular participation in a small group? Do you frequently participate in a ministry serving those in need? Are we actively witnessing our faith to others?
As you look at the questions, rate yourself honestly: How are you doing? If you are like me, you probably come up short, so it is equally obvious that I need more discipline in maintaining my spiritual health as well. So another New Years resolution would be to practice more discipline maintaining my spiritual health and my relationship with God.
Adding discipline to our spiritual life will improve our walk with God: So another New Years resolution is to be more disciplined about my spiritual life as well as my physical health.
But discipline alone is not enough. There are potential hazards with this analogy.
Have you ever been around a health and fitness freak? Whoa! Talk about coming on strong! They need to get a life! Unless you practice their extraordinary level of commitment in health and physical fitness, you will be judged unworthy and ignored. People who are serious about spiritual disciplines are often arrogant as well. Dumbbells are a good analogy but we can go too far.
So what do we do now? Maybe, we need another analogy. How about a piano?
Next we’ll talk more about finding God, New Years resolutions and pianos. Until then, I’m going to try picking up these dumbbells and see if they still work. I wonder if they need batteries.