One thing I am glad about in 2017 is my effort to stay at working out. It’s been the longest stretch ever for me to get into shape, work with a trainer, and find a way to stay physically active. It’s a work in progress. 

But I took a week off.

One. Lousy. Week.

I went in this week to get my body moving again because I knew my training day was looming. It didn’t matter. My training day felt like I hadn’t been to a gym in a month. I finished my workout completely gassed and all of a sudden I was in a junior high gym again. It was 9th grade. The year I had made a foolish attempt to actually be on a basketball team was in 9th grade.

I don’t have an athletic bone in my body. I love sports. Can’t play them. But at 14 and 15 years old and a geek (when geeks weren’t cool) I was trying to find a way to belong.

The one year I tried to play on a basketball team the coach brought us back after a week off during Christmas. The real stars of the team didn’t have any issues because they had focus. They probably ran 3 miles on Christmas Day. The rest of us? We hadn’t done a blessed thing other than sleep and eat.

The coach didn’t let us touch the basketball for an entire week. All he did for every practice was run us into the ground. We ran laps, sprints, stairs, and something called killers. (Like the rest of it didn’t kill us already.) We did fingertip push-ups as a team. When someone wasn’t doing it right, we had to start over. All of us.

Training day at my gym took me back to that 9th grade experience. I felt like I hadn’t done a thing in months rather than just a few days. I needed the push on my training day to get me back in shape.

We need the training in our lives because we simply get lazy. It can be physical, spiritual, job-related, or some other area. We get used to something and fail to keep growing and then find when something comes at us that is “new”, we tend to whine about it. Or complain.

This is Israel’s issue. I am reading through Exodus. Israel has been delivered from Egypt in spectacular fashion. The world’s greatest army is taken out by God. They are free after 430 years of captivity.

Right after being delivered from Egypt they come to the waters of Marah and Elim. The water is bitter and they complain.

In a short span of reading, the Lord says twice that he will test them. He will test them at Marah. He will test them on the provision of food.

Yes, the Lord will test you. Why? Because spiritual muscles get lazy. Spiritual ears get waxed up. Spiritual senses get dulled. When we aren’t utilizing our spiritual attributes they get lazy.

And when the Lord comes along to push us into new territory, guess what? That 9th grade gym all over again!

Lord, it is time to hear. It is time to get my ears open and my spiritual body in gear. Test me. Push me. Get me moving again. You don’t do it because you hate me. You push me because you LOVE me. And I am begrudgingly grateful. 


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