"What He ordains for us each moment is what is most holy, best, and most divine for us." Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Little Discipline

So Bud, my weight trainer, said to me last week, "I've got a little book I want to give you." Great! I love books!!! And then he proceeded to say, "It's an exercise book." Well, I thought that was cool. I was sure it would show me different techniques to strength training -- probably some I could do at home with my free weights. But then he said, "It's a journal for recording your weight, your cardio workout, and your strength training. And there's a place to write down everything you eat as well as your water intake and any vitamins or supplements."

What I wanted to say was, "Wait a minute! Isn't it enough that I pay you to put my body through all kinds of stresses while it screams its objections? Now you're going to get into my personal business as well?" So I reluctantly took the book and the first thing I noticed was a "Comments" section at the bottom of each day's log. Oh, you can bet I'll fill up that section!

Please note the "overall mood."

And then I asked my first question: "Would it be okay if I start next week?" After all, I heard long ago that you shouldn't start anything on a Friday that you couldn't finish. Bud agreed and off I went, thinking, "Okay, baby, eat all you want this weekend, because come Monday morning, you've got to start writing it down, recording every morsel that goes in your mouth." (Please refer back to "overall mood.")

And so here I am. It's Monday and the discipline has started. I grabbed my "BodyMinder" Workout and Exercise Journal along with my tank of water and off I went to the gym -- and Bud.

Cardio: Treadmill (20 minutes)
Abs: Crunches X2, Knee Ups X2, Back Extentions, Roman chair, sit ups
Shoulders: front, side, rear
Chest: flies, presses
Back: pull downs (over/under)
Legs: press down, abductor
Calves: (darn, missed that one)

Vitamin: check
Water: swimming
Trainer: Bud
Dietary notes: banana
handful of almonds
chocolate icing beaters
dipped almonds in left over chocolate icing
Comments: *#&$)=#@*#%!!!!

So, as you can see, except for the little mishap with the beaters and "dipping," I'm off to a pretty good start. And if I'm to be honest, this little discipline of keeping records really is beneficial and will no doubt pay off in the long run. It's certainly making me more conscious of my activity, my water intake, as well as my eating habits.

But those are my physical disciplines. What about those disciplines that are just if not more important -- those personal disciplines that promote my spiritual growth? Disciplines such a Bible intake, prayer, fasting, silence and solitude, and journaling.

The apostle Paul wrote to a very young lad named Timothy and encouraged him to "discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness" (1 Tim. 4:7). Interestingly enough, that word translated "discipline" is the Greek word gumnasia from which we get our English word "gymnasium," and which means "to exercise or discipline" -- which is why the King James Version renders it "Exercise thyself rather unto godliness." So when I go to that quiet place each morning for my Bible reading and prayer, it's like going to the gym and Bud putting me through a series of weight training and exercises. But whereas the latter produces physical strength and a more fit body, so the goal of the former is to produce godliness -- and relationship.

Yeah, when Paul encouraged Timothy to "gumnasia" himself, somehow I don't think he we talking about crunches or knee lifts.

Just an ordinary moment...

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