I have a problem…
I could take this post in so many different directions right now, because Lord knows I have a lot of problems (lol), but the problem that’s on my mind today is the fact that so many of the things I do in my life, I do for the wrong reasons.
Let’s use going to the gym as an easy “for instance.”
I attest to the notion that exercise improves health, and is a good thing for us humans to make a habit of. Because of that, I try to go to the gym, or get some form of exercise in at least a few times a week. It’s been only recently though, that I feel like I’ve actually been making an effort to go for the right reasons.
People who know me know I have a tendency to get caught up in extremes, and a lot of times it’s not until I swing from one end of the spectrum to the other that I realize the best space to be in is neither extreme, but somewhere in the middle instead.
So I’ve been a gym-goer now for over 8 years, and when I first started going, I went because I felt “less than.” I had to lose weight. I had to gain muscle. I had to look better. I had to fit in. I was insecure. I had to work out, because I wasn’t good enough. Working out was a punishment for being not enough.
Then, after I realized that wasn’t good, I incidentally swung the opposite direction. I went to the gym because it made me feel “better than.” I went to feel good about myself. I liked getting up at 5am to work out, knowing that the majority of society was still sleeping, because in my head that meant I was more motivated and had more drive than those people. Working out was a reward for being better than other people. Working out made me prideful.
God’s reminded me lately that neither of those reasonings were valid for working out. I am not any less than others, nor am I any better than others, and to think that going to the gym could affect my worth in any way at all was silly and altogether incorrect thinking.
We’ve been given bodies to steward in this life, and it is a gift from God, and nothing we could have earned, to be able to use those bodies to their fullest potential.
The goal of going to the gym for me has now become an effort to contribute to the health and vitality of my body, because as I increase my strength, I increase my capacity to work for the glory of God. The more that I can thrive as a result of getting proper physical exercise, the more I’ll be able to help in spreading Love throughout this world. What an opportunity!
Working out is no longer something that stems from insecurity or from pride, but instead is a celebration of the capabilities that God’s given us through our bodies.
Plus, the physical act of pushing myself to become stronger and continuously change myself for the better in that way, serves as a powerful reminder to me that we have the ability to push ourselves to places we’ve never been before both emotionally and spiritually, as well.
Life is not a punishment. Life is not a reward. Life is a gift.