I have this exercise machine for sale. That really bugs me because I have frequently smirked at all the exercise machines that are sold on Craigslist or at yard sales.
The back story goes something like this: a person…a guy, let’s say…decides in early January that he wants…no, he really NEEDS…to get in shape. He needs it so badly that he simply MUST spend a chunk of change on new gear, new clothes, new shoes and/or a new gym membership. With all that new stuff, he will be ready to take on the challenge of shedding those holiday pounds, the ones that have been accumulating for the past several years.
At first, all goes well with our mythical health-phile. He pays the price to get up early or stay up late or skip lunch to work out. He even knocks off a few pounds, appreciating his sore muscles with the awareness that, while fat is calorie-storing tissue, muscle is calorie-burning tissue. So far so good! Until the day that he is just too tired so he sleeps in. Or he eats a couple of Big Macs for lunch rather than go to the gym. Or he chooses to catch up on late-night TV rather than work out. A couple of days later, he skips again, then soon has more off days than exercise days. Before long, his workout clothes stay in the closet, the gear gathers dust in the spare bedroom or the garage and the gym sits a little emptier. Actually the gym sits a lot emptier because all the other guys who bought memberships for the new year have already fallen off the wagon.
I’m not sure how our thinking got so warped. How did we start believing that some new stuff or some more stuff would somehow transform us into the fitness nut we hoped to become? The truth is that we tend to buy into that philosophy in every part of our lives. For instance, I will sheepishly admit that I have more note taking apps on my phone than you can shake a stick at, but none of them…not.one.single.one…has ever helped me take better notes.
The same principle can apply in our spiritual lives. I have found it easy to squeeze God out of my daily time with Him, simply by clogging those precious minutes with more "tools" that are supposed to help me get a better spiritual connection. I confess this to you, knowing how much I need this weekend’s message on Life Repurposed at Stone Ridge Church. And, no, I’m not the one preaching it. I hope to see you there as we listen and learn. If you can’t make it, catch the podcast!
By the way, I really do have an exercise machine for sale. It’s not for lack of exercise that I’m getting rid of it after several years of use. I’m still exercising on a very regular basis, but some priorities have changed…and I’m glad I made this part of my life simpler!