I've written before about the parallels between my spiritual life and my pursuit of physical fitness. The details of both can get pretty ugly sometimes. There's the persistent temptation to give in to comfort and laziness; the constant confusion of priorities; the tendency to "fight" on my own power instead of leaning on Christ.
I heard a priest say recently that one of the biggest things we will have to face on our judgement day will be all the ways we have tried to deceive God. I flinched interiorly because I know I'm in big trouble on that count. Even the best of my actions or intentions are tainted with selfish impurity. It takes only a brief examination to know this is true.
This certainly holds true for physical fitness. I know that taking care of my body is right and good. I also know that while I loudly profess my commitment to health for all the right reasons, I also know that I have a teeny tiny pair of blue jeans in the bottom of my drawer that are sometimes my most powerful motivator.
In the Catholic homeschooling mommy world, it just isn't cool to say something like: "I'm just dying to fit into a size 2 again!" That's for all those worldly folks out there...not me. But I know the voice is there. I don't think it's wrong to take care to have a pleasing appearance, particularly for my husband; but I know that I'm a lot more concerned about the number on my jeans than he is.
The two of us walk in the evenings and my pregnant body and joints scream in protest as I waddle up the hill at the end of our street (the one I don't even notice normally). I lean against the car in our driveway after the last lap and think of the time coming soon when I will feel better, stronger, thinner...
Then I think, "What if that time never comes?" I know I won't be pregnant forever; but there will likely come a time (barring a sudden and early death) when I will no longer have the earthly hope of feeling better, stronger, healthier, leaner, more energetic. This must be why God allows everything to be taken away with old age. One by one, the particular "strengths" that we lean upon will fail us and we will be faced with what is left. If our priorities have been right all along, we will draw comfort from the knowledge that He is everything. If we've been mixed up, then panic and fear will set in as we see the "substance" of our lives slipping away.
I get a kick out of the t-shirt in the photo above. It was designed (and is sold) by a group called Mamas Movin' With Mary. They have their priorities right and know that it takes energy and focus to keep them that way. I am grateful to them for the extra inspiration I needed today to, once again, recognize the little deceptions I practice, and work diligently to expose them to the light of Christ.