When my husband suggested we join a gym, I growled under my breath and hoped he’d forget it. That question was like asking the Pope to consider joining the Southern Baptist Convention.
Ridiculous! Me and exercise—they don’t go together.
As a child, my idea of playing outside was to move my clay and paints to the covered back porch. Even that was a stretch. As an adult if the idea of exercise ever struck me, I would lie down and eat a Twinkie until it passed.
But my flabby, aching, and stiff body knew my husband was right. I hadn’t felt good for years.
So we joined, and I drug myself to the gym. My husband hired a trainer, and the pressure was on. It was grueling at first, and sometimes I actually cried. It hurt so badly; but I kept at it, making tiny steps of progress.
Somehow the painful sedentary muscles and bones of a lifetime grew stronger and tighter. My stamina increased and so did my self-confidence. And somewhere between the aches and the tears, my belly started melting right on a treadmill.
Loathe of exercise turned into love. And I am not just talking about the reward of physical activity but the act itself. I love the tangible and mental feeling of breaking through stress, when all those endorphins release their potion. It is a rush. That is what has me rushing to the gym these days.
Now why in the world did I think that I could ignore the laws of health by eating too much and not exercising for years? Why did I think those rules did not apply to me? My flabby and aching body told me otherwise. But now I am a believer. I cannot keep fit and healthy without exercise and good food. I know that I am actually extending my life.
When I hit the pillow at night, I have a sense of mental and physical contentment because I made a health choice.
On a much broader scale, God’s ways are full of valuable content that lead to earthly and eternal contentment. There will be retribution for ignoring His rules, although it is counter culture to believe that in this post-modern world.
But when it’s over and the fat lady sings at the end—the one who didn’t exercise—we will all know there are consequences for breaking His rules. They lead to death.