Voila - one of my wonderful Christmas presents from Harris. Brand new "real" running shoes. I really wanted these because I wanted to amp up my fitness, and felt that a new pair of shoes would help inspire that.
(For the record, it was not for a new year's resolution. I don't do those.
I do new day resolutions. Because I need them that often.)
I went to the YMCA yesterday to take a fitness class, and it absolutely kicked my booty. And my arms. And my legs. And my abs. And.. well, you get the idea. I also just happened to position myself in the class next to some women who I found out, after evesdropping, observing their rock hard bodies, and just plain playing Sherlock like I do, that they were, "fitness instructors, I presume?"
I thought I was ready. I've done workouts lately. I'm fit-ish. Nope. Not today.
The whole time I was doing something that resembled pushups, I kept thinking, "I really thought I was more in shape than this. I thought I could handle this.. this is hard!" I was reminded of the sermon we heard on Sunday called, "Love is Hard". God wants me to shape my heart to see the world how He sees it, and that takes, well, working out my heart. [See my analogy here? Sneaky.]
It is natural for me to love people who love me. The challenge comes in when I run into someone who has wronged me, or who I just plain don't get along with, or even (dare I say it) when someone who I married and vowed to love under all kinds of circumstances hurts or annoys me unintentionally. I become unloving. Unkind. Snappy. Ew.
Love challenges our natural feelings, our natural actions, and our natural life. [As does fitness, for many people.] The benefit of working out our heart (in both instances) is definitely worthwhile. Honestly, the only way I can do either one is to stay close to the cross - so I can keep going when the going gets rough.
Don't just settle for what is 'natural' because that will often leave you wanting. By not challenging ourselves creatively, spiritually, physically, emotionally, or however-ly.. we're allowing the natural tendencies to take over, and not allowing the possibilities to reveal themselves. Work hard, fight the default, but remember that there's grace ready for you when you are only able to do the modified versions of spiderman pushups. There will also be a high five from me simply because you came out.