I am new to the gym near my house. My hubby is a gym rat, but I really dislike exercise…the idea of it, the time it takes to do it, the being sweaty after, the being bored during, and any and all of the pain….you get the picture. 😛
But a few weeks ago something happened that made my whiny heart skip a beat—and not just from doing the elliptical! I looked into the wall of mirrors and saw, behind me and over my shoulder, an elderly woman limping badly across the floor, using a cane. She flung it down with a huff and got right to work. Despite her hunched over appearance, and her hospital-issue walking stick, it was obvious that this lady knew her way around a gym.
That morning when the alarm went off, I complained about being tired, but her every movement was exhausting to watch. I thought it was “hard to get to the gym,” but then I saw that it’s really no trouble for me, not compared to her. Normally I’d rather do almost anything other than work out, but seeing her made me appreciate my comfort, my ease of movement, and my upright posture.
Sad to say that if I’d been in her running shoes, I would have stayed home, in bed. I am thankful to have seen her there, alongside a man in a wheelchair who was working out his upper body. Looking at them, I thought: There, but for the grace of God, go I. And what a thought. I was ashamed of my earlier grumbling while they, with so many obstacles, were tackling real difficulties with such grace and dignity.
God calls us to glorify Him with our bodies, to remember that our bodies are His temple (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). My response to every sunrise, every heartbeat, and every breath should be:
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 118: 24).
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
in him my heart trusts, and I am helped;
my heart exults, and with my song
I give thanks to him (Psalm 28:7).
Yet for me, these things don’t come naturally. But, “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Cor 5:17, ESV). So my prayer is: Lord, bring on the new. Make me over from the inside out. Help my attitude to be one of gratitude. Lord, create in me a heart that loves to steward all the wonderful gifts you have given me!