In this day of fitness and exercise we are bombarded with images of beautiful and fit women. They are all over the covers and pages of magazines. We buy them by the stack. We read them while consuming our fancy coffees and muffins. And we feel guilty. At least I do. Why can’t I discipline myself to look like that? I know it takes discipline…the few times I’ve tried to get into some sort of shape, I have noticed it takes work. It doesn’t happen overnight. If anything, even after a few weeks I can’t see any difference. That’s usually when one quits. Why do I quit when it feels good (after the workout) and I know it’s good for me?
Everything that we want to accomplish takes discipline. A better prayer life, an education, career advancement, healthy relationships, and fitness. Nothing comes to those who wait…isn’t that a quote somewhere? I can’t wait anymore. It’s getting more serious than that. We are wanting the “ideal” without really knowing what it is. It all takes time and consumes us, even when we are not doing anything in particular. We won’t just sit and absorb the presence of God anymore…we worry about the next day instead.
Simplifying my life will take discipline. I do need to work on my fitness…mental and physical. Things need to get simple. Focus on God and keep life in perspective. There is an amazing devotional available out there…”Every Day With Jesus”, and I will quote (and paraphrase) from this February’s issue.
- Seek first the interests of the kingdom. When this comes first it is easier to evaluate what else needs to go.
- Examine your life to see if complicated motives are producing anomalies in your attitude and acts. Do you have mixed motives? If so, then purify them first, then your conduct too will be right.
- Resist all attempts to do things for their status than their usefulness. This is good to remember in all aspects of life. Do we buy things we don’t need to impress people we don’t even like? Do we do things to fit into a society that stresses us out?
- Be alert to the possibility of becoming addicted to things, and behaviors. This can be shopping, television, novels, fitness…the list is endless. When we put Jesus first, these become second in our lives. Be ruthless with the culling.
- Cultivate a way of thinking that says not, ‘What can I keep for myself?’ but ‘What can I give away?’ Hoarding creates clutter in our homes and emotions.
- Refuse to be duped by slick advertising. This is not just for things…but also for our behavior. We are also told how to behave and think in all the advertising we see.
- Cut out all affectation in speech and act. Live honestly. Decide that whatever you do and say will be true. Decide to be fundamentally simple and you will be fundamentally sound.
Now I need to find someone to keep me accountable….!!!