I have a confession.
I've always hated exercising.
Between my attention challenges (I 'just say no' to tracks, treadmills, stationary bikes, and gyms in general.) and my middle-aged, couch-sitting, covid-encouraged, stress-induced, overall-state-of-physical-fluffiness-body in these past few years, exercising has been a battle.
Four months ago when I began setting grace-inspired goals, getting fit and trim was high on my list. So I began walking. Not gentle around the track walking. Let me explain.
Living on TOP of a huge hill, surrounded by other huge hills, my walking paths are not for the faint of heart.
To the left, I have a stretch that is something like this: steep up, long decline, steeper decline, long decline, long incline THEN, long decline, looooooooooong incline, STEEP incline (can't. breathe.), gradual incline (that goes on for eeeeeeeeeeeeeever), steep decline.
No. Flat. Spots.
To the right, it's incline, decline and a minute of flat, killer incline, gradual descent into madness, multiple declines, short flat spot, then turn around and climb until you can't breathe, then climb some more, steep decline trying not to fall forward onto your face, then gasp your way home.
When I began, I was NOT a fan. Of either direction.
It took me four months of walking 6 days a week - no matter the weather - to begin to experience an easy relationship with the hills. Even now, I huff and puff, but my goal is not to stop, no matter how slow I have to go!
What began as the longest one mile and 20 minutes of my life has now become the shortest hour of three plus miles! I was shocked to discover this past month that I actually WANT to walk and look forward to it. (Just ask my walking partner, Mabel, who received my 'let's walk!' text in the middle of a snow storm! She said yes. She's a total beast.) I'm now planning and looking forward to larger goals, longer walks, new destinations. That, my friends, is ALL GOD'S GRACE.
Sometimes the goals God asks of us seem daunting, huge, and scary. Be encouraged that God's grace is ready to get you where He wants you to go! When we choose to follow Jesus, to ask Him into our lives, and step forward in our resurrection life, we are empowered and can live the promise of new life. This new life is like my walking muscles that needed to be used and stretched and built - and on our journey towards health, our new life is strengthened and energized by the grace of God!
God is doing a work in you, my friend. Allow yourself to relax into His plan for you, seeking His truth, accepting His grace, and forge ahead with confidence, one hill at a time!
TODAY'S BIBLE READINGS
We plan the way we want to live, but only God makes us able to live it.
Proverbs 16:9 MSG
The apostles gave powerful witness to the resurrection of the Master Jesus, and grace was on them.
Acts 4:33 MSG
It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.
It’s in Christ that you, once you heard the truth and believed it (this Message of your salvation), found yourselves home free—signed, sealed, and delivered by the Holy Spirit. This down payment from God is the first installment on what’s coming, a reminder that we’ll get everything God has planned for us, a praising and glorious life.
That’s why, when I heard of the solid trust you have in the Master Jesus and your outpouring of love to all the followers of Jesus, I couldn’t stop thanking God for you—every time I prayed, I’d think of you and give thanks. But I do more than thank. I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength!
Ephesians 1:11-19 MSG
Now that we are set right with God by means of this sacrificial death, the consummate blood sacrifice, there is no longer a question of being at odds with God in any way. If, when we were at our worst, we were put on friendly terms with God by the sacrificial death of his Son, now that we’re at our best, just think of how our lives will expand and deepen by means of his resurrection life!
Romans 5: 9-10
"We want to live well, but our foremost efforts should be to help others live well."
(1 Corinthians 10:24b MSG)