January 13, 2010

Working Out … My Faith - Janet Sketchley

I’ve finally found a daily personal workout routine that suits me. Friends told me about its benefits, but I didn’t really believe them until I proved it for myself.

Sure, I knew it would be good for me, but it seemed like such an effort. And how long would I manage to stick with it? I’d tried before.

Still, I decided to work at it for six weeks. After that, the experiment would be over, and there’d be no shame in quitting.

The first thing that changed was my attitude. Once I started looking at this as something to anticipate, I stopped procrastinating. It’s not a boring ritual, but a way to renew my energy and purge my stress.

Putting some time into it every day is far more effective than my hit-and-miss efforts in the past. I’m starting to see results.

This time, I’m committed to the process. That means no more filtering the instructions through my own understanding, or treating them as suggestions that I can choose to ignore. If I’m going to give this a real chance, I have to do it right.

And I can’t be critical of others who follow the same regimen. If they look too good to be true, perhaps they’ve been practicing longer – or more faithfully. If they seem weak, maybe they need some encouragement. Ideally, these workouts have a group component to complement the daily personal one.

I’ve found it helpful to have someone to act as coach at times. A friendly observer can point out where my form needs improvement. And an extra set of eyes reading the Manual can keep me from getting off-base in my interpretation.

Plus, there’s the accountability factor. I don’t want to have to admit it when I slack off!

My trial period is over now. I’m more energized and focused, and my whole outlook on life is better. The results convinced me this is a worthwhile activity. I’m still tempted to be lazy, but I don’t give in very often. I want to keep growing stronger.

It amazes me that daily quiet times with the Lord can make this much of a difference. These special times when I savour God’s presence in prayer and in the Bible have become my soul’s anchor in my busy days. My spiritual muscles are getting stronger.

Maybe I should try some push ups ….

© Janet Sketchley, 2004, 2009 (This one's from the archives, but it's a fit for January and the season of New Year's resolutions)
For devotionals, reviews and conversation, stop by Janet Sketchley's blog, God with Us: Finding Joy.


  1. Ha - good one! Nice whiplash ending - and I totally agree with your premise.

  2. For sure, this is a great challenge. I like the build-up here and absolutely we can become a picture of [spiritual health] if we 'exercise' regularly. Three times they say, becomes a habit. x Nice post, J.

  3. Glynis, three times to make a habit? Must be a bad one! The good ones require so much more practice!


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