There are few activities in life that I find as challenging as running on a treadmill. I am not so much confounded by the difficulty of physical activity itself but rather the mental trial that accompanies it. When I was younger I had less trouble because I had the thrill of physical strength and the goals of an athlete. Now, I whimper through a fraction of the time I used to spend, motivated by...well...anything I can grab onto to pull me through.
My routine is scattered and random. My thoughts a little on the wild and frantic side as I struggle through the trial. I crank up the praise music. If you had a microphone to my brain and house during that time you might hear something like this.
I remember exercising when my first born was a little guy. A full hour most days and he would get antsy for his mama's attention. "Hold on, sweetheart...Mama's almost done. I want to be healthy and strong so that I can do the job that Jesus gave me to do."
It's not so easy these days.
I am tired and scattered. I struggle to order my physical and spiritual needs. I want order all at once. I lack discipline and patience. The strength of my teenage years will never come again but I can certainly do the best with what I've got. The real struggle is doing it for the right reasons. Vanity hides itself neatly behind "health". Bodily strength is also a great material comfort to me. Can I run this race and win without beauty and strength? Answers will vary depending on who you ask. But I am a Christian and I know the answer.
"All the runners at the stadium are trying to win, but only one of them gets the prize. You must run in the same way, meaning to win. All the fighters at the games go into strict training; they do this just to win a wreath that will wither away, but we do it for a wreath that will never wither, That is how I run, intent on winning; that is how I fight, not beating the air. I treat my body hard and make it obey me, for, having been an announcer myself, I should not want to be disqualified." 1 Corinthians 9: 24-27