Sometimes I hate Jackie Warner. She’s my personal trainer, and she’s merciless. A few times a week, she leads a 45 minute circuit training resistance workout with light weights.
I hate her because she never lets up. She expects me to follow her lead without excuse. Every time I put in her exercise DVD, the routine is the same; the same exercises, the same sets, the same repetitions. No pauses for fatigue. No time outs for sickness. No excuses.
This morning was one of those occasions I wish she were here in person. I could explain to her that I haven’t exercised in weeks because of a lingering cold. Thus, I was unable to keep up with her this morning. I wimped out of a few reps, in addition to a complete set of abdominal exercises.
I’ve been exercising with Jackie, via DVD, for the last 8 months or so. After months of performing the same routine numerous times each week, I got to the point where I could perform every exercise, every set, and every repetition. However, after taking only two weeks off, I was unable to keep up with her. My muscles had denigrated after neglecting them in only two weeks. Amazing!
I felt like I had a good reason. I’ve been sick. But, alas, my muscles, and probably Jackie would be indifferent to my excuse. The reality is I simply didn’t do the work during those two weeks. My muscles took time off, and became weaker.
I started to think about other areas of health, such as emotional and spiritual health. Is it possible to “take time off” for various reasons and remain emotionally and spiritually healthy?
Is it possible to neglect spiritual disciplines, such as attending worship services, spending time in prayer/meditation, and reading Scriptures and remain strong and spiritually healthy? What about having good excuses, such as job obligations, or childcare issues? The reality is that if we don’t eat spiritual bread, we will become spiritually unhealthy, just as we will be physically unhealthy if we don’t eat well. Excuses don't matter.
The neat thing is that since I’ve put in the work for the last several months, and I’ve only taken two weeks off from exercising, it will only take a couple of days to get back up to where I was before. Now, if I take off a couple of months…well, I wouldn’t want you to tell Jackie if that happened.