The Joy of Exercise John 15:9-11

Why am I not the sort of person who wants to exercise? Please don’t get me wrong, I want to exercise. I love the feeling, but this morning, like so many others, I woke up and rolled over instead. Maybe what I should say is, “Why do I like to sleep more than exercise?” If I went to the truth on this, I could also say:

“Why do I like TV more than exercise?”
“Why do I play Candy Crush instead of exercise?”
“Why do I eat chips instead of exercise?”

I could go on. You get the idea. Even in high school, I joined the track team with the best of intentions. I wanted to be fit. I wanted to be an athlete. They put me on long-distance runs, and I’d see my friends hanging out. They were casually walking past the school, chatting their way to something fun, and I would think, “Why am I doing this? That looks more fun.” So, I ran over there. LOL! (Not literally at that moment, but soon enough, I’d quit track in lieu of hanging out after school.)

I envy people who really and truly enjoy working out. Parts of me do genuinely enjoy it. I love my bike rides and walks. Hiking is a favorite. I am an active person, but a couple of miles on a treadmill and pumping weights in the walls of a gym is NOT my idea of “fun”, not by a long shot.

This morning I’d hoped to wake up and do some yoga. Part of me thinks that would be “fun”, but I know, having done yoga before, that once I get started, my mind will track to here, to the words I want to read and the thoughts I want to express. While doing all these strengthening and stretching movements, I am merely pushing through, as I do at the gym, just to get it done. That is not how I want it.

In John 15:9-11, Jesus says, “Remain in my love and experience joy.” This is paraphrased. There is a lot more in these two verses. It’s beautiful, and I suggest you read it in full if you wish, but when I consider this yoga routine that I would like to do, I consider it meditation time with Christ. I do that now at the gym. Closing my eyes and with each movement, praying—improving my conscious contact with our Creator. It hasn’t yet gotten me to be excited about indoor exercise, but at least I get there more days than not, and seriously, kudos to all of you that love it. If you have a secret, please share it.

Dearest Heavenly Father (Mother), we are so blessed to be in your presence anytime we wish to connect. You are there for us and bring us great joy. As we wander through our days, attempting to do what is right, please guide us and motivate us to where you would like us to be, in the areas we should invest our energy. In Your Mighty and Holy Name…

Praying Over the City in South Saint Paul, Minnesota

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