Oh, my goodness, I just know you’re going to enjoy this post from a former pastor of mine, Scot Elgersma from The River Church. Such a great reminder
I think I’m allergic to exercise.
At least it feels like it every time I do it or think about doing it.
This past Sunday, Troy asked me to play tennis. How do you say no to a kid who wants to play with you? We went to our local courts and played.
Here are 2 things that I learned:
I’m really competitive and I don’t want my 14 year old to beat me.
My 14 year old son is way more athletic than me in every way.
We played and now here are my allergic reactions.
I hurt. In many ways, I hurt. My shoulders hurt, my hamstrings hurt, my knees hurt. I think my spleen hurts, but I’m not sure. For hours afterwards I sat sweating and out of breath. Kristin wondered if she should call the ambulance. I may or may not have seen a bright light in the distance.
Oh boy, I’m out of shape.
Yet, I know how good exercise is for me. A daily regimen of physical activity makes me feel better, look better, and probably extends my life.
I know these things. You don’t have to tell me. I get it. Daily exercise is good.
But I still rebel against it.
“There’s no time!” “It takes a commitment of energy I don’t have.” “I’m fine. It’s not like I’m going to have a heart attack tomorrow or anything!”
The list of daily excuses is as long as the list of daily benefits that are abundantly clear to me.
And then there’s this;
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” That’s from Matthew 16. By the way, this is a command of the one who created the universe.
So my knee...
So I’m tired because...
So this is hard when...
So my heart...
The excuses begin to fade.
Not just physically, but spiritually.
It hard to exercise, and some days, it’s hard to follow Jesus.
In the same way that I can rationalize my laziness, I can rationalize my lack of faith.
In the same way that it’s hard to exercise, it’s hard to ‘take up my cross’.
“My cross is heavy Jesus. My kids are all over the place, my finances are a wreck, my job is hanging on by a thread and there are those medical tests I took a couple weeks ago.”
And Jesus says, “Take up your cross and follow me.”
Into bankruptcy? Yep.
Into hard things with my family? Yep.
Into the doctor’s office? Uh-huh.
Even into the mortuary? Especially there.
Taking up our cross daily is like exercise; it’s a present commitment for a future blessing.
I’m going for a long walk now. It’s not just for my body, it’s for my soul.
If I can be obedient to Christ with this old, flabby, balding body, perhaps I can be obedient with my life; a life that can be changed while it changes those around me.