It’s that time of the year. When people make their lists of resolutions, commit to a healthier lifestyle and many, join the gym. You may think I’m crazy, but I actually really love working out. I was a fitness instructor through college and the bug just stayed with me. There are a lot of reasons why I love it, but being strong and healthy are my top two.
As I’ve gotten older and busier with life, exercise has become harder and harder to fit in. There are many nights when I’m trying to exercise at 9:30, after the kids have gone to bed. That, my friend, is not an easy time to be sweating it out with any form of gusto. Because of that, I’ve let myself cheat, try to take short-cuts and even attempted to use supplements that were later deemed unsafe – all in an attempt to maintain my fitness level without the full dedication I’ve had in the past. Over the years, I’ve tried just about every “fad” there was. Six-minutes for a full workout (seriously?) or express cardio. You’ve seen the commercials. What I’ve learned is that the only true and trusted way of being fit, at least for me, is a dedication to the basics. Simple weight training, good old fashioned cardiovascular exercise and smart food choices. There really are no short cuts.
Don’t we approach our spirituality that way sometimes? I know I have. I have found myself caught up in a certain teacher’s work, or felt that if I just read “that” book, some key would unlock and I’d “get it.” What I’ve learned is that I’ve made those books or teachers an idol to some degree, giving them much more power and authority than I ever should. Now, don’t get me wrong, I think there is a lot to be said for insightful teaching and practical application. It’s just that none of that should ever take precedence over the one place where it’s all there – The Bible. No short cuts. I never want to replace the teaching and insight gained from time in The Word with a book or message – those things are designed to enhance, not take the place of, the ultimate teaching source. For me, it can be more challenging to glean application from the Bible, but when I do, it is much more powerful.
So, as 2010 draws to a close and I look ahead to 2011, I’m looking forward to really digging more into my Bible to see what God has to say to me this year. I’m recommitting myself to that dedication to the basics. Reading my Bible, praying, journaling and just listening. Of course, there will still be Bible studies and books and all, but those will be in their proper place. Just like exercise and healthy living habits, there are no short cuts. As a result, I think 2011 could be the best year yet. Anyone with me?