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No Pain, No Gain

June 27, 2012

About  3 months ago I had to come face to face with harsh reality, when I realized I was beginning to “grow” a pot-belly. You know for a woman that is not very good news and so obviously I had to do something about it. I had two options; either to adopt a workable diet or to hit the gym and burn the annoying fat that had crept up on me “unnoticed” (but what did I really expect after I started indulging in chips vumbi???)

Anyway, between the two options mentioned above, the one that was sure to sort me out proportionally was the gym. Besides, the gym would help me kill several birds with one stone… one of them being staying physically fit the right way and secondly helping me solve the constant problem I seem to have of insomnia. However, all I did was just talk about going back to the gym, but I really never did, until something happened that pushed me into action..... None of my cloths were fitting me! And that was the motivation I needed to hit the gym.  So back to the gym I went, to experience all that pain…..and more.
I have a very lethal gym instructor called SAS. I describe him as being lethal because after 90 minutes of working out under his instructions you can barely move your nails. Man! That dude is something, but his stuff works. Unlike some other gyms I have visited, his programs work exactly as they are supposed to. For instance, if all you wanted is to trim your tummy, then be sure your tummy will go and the rest of your body will be toned while maintaining what it was before.  If you are like some people I have seen who think they know more about gyming than the instructors do, then he tells you on the face how you are affecting your body by not following the right regimen.
In the midst of all the exercises, the gym experience is teaching me very important lessons. To start with, one needs to be totally dedicated to make sure they don’t miss any sessions. This is because when you do, the pain caused by the previous day’s exercises becomes intensified. The only way to minimize and get rid of the pain totally is by going back for more…. how is that for a contradiction!  Something else I have discovered is that after a while, the body gets used to the exercises and so you have to use different programs with different repetitions in order to get the desired effect.
The bottom line is, you have to be committed to the program in order for you to gain from it. Like one of my long-time gym instructors used to tell me over 10 years ago, No Pain, No Gain. The pain in this case could be what you experience after a rigorous workout; or it could be the subscription fee you have to pay to enroll at the gym; or it could be the time you have to sacrifice in order to make it to the gym daily; or even the diet you have to embark on in order to complement your rigorous workout. Whatever it is, you have to part with one thing or another, not excluding the actual pain you feel after the workout…. sometimes the workouts are so intense that instead of walking, you wobble like a duck… but at the end of it all, its all worth it.
I will also be honest and say that it is not all the time I am able to make it to the gym. Sometimes I get so busy with work that I just have to miss it. Other times I just don’t have the psyche to go for the work-out, due to one reason or another; could be I’m unwell, or sometimes I’m just feeling demoralized, or even plain lazy. Whatever the case, as much as I would like not to miss the gym, sometimes I don’t make it at all. However, that does not mean that I am not committed to my regimen; I am…. and when I do get the chance to go back, my body responds very quickly.
Now, this is the physical being, what about the spiritual being? Is there anything that can be done about it? Is there a spiritual gym one can enroll in, in order to ensure they have a spiritual fit being? The answer is yes! The first step would be to look at ourselves in the mirror to identify the areas we are unfit, unhealthy and “fat” in our spiritual lives. What does the image in the mirror say to you? Are you pleased with your reflection?  Or does the image scare you like my physical image did when I saw myself with the awful pot?
If you can be very honest with yourself, what do you see when you look at yourself? What areas of your spiritual being are looking “unfit” to you? Is it your eyes (purposing to indulge in viewing all the wrong things), or is it your ears (listening to all the wrong stuff), or is it your mouth (being so vulgar and careless with words), or is it your hands (so quick to touch what is not yours), or could it be your feet (taking you places you shouldn’t be going to), or is it your heart (filled with so much hatred, unforgiveness and vengeance)? Whatever it is, there is hope for you and I.
We need to join a spiritual gym where we have to spend time with the designated instructor (The Holy Spirit), and let Him give us the daily workout plan in order to build our spiritual selves. It is not an easy thing to do but with dedication, we can make it. What we need to realize is that at the end of the day, this regimen is meant to help us with our Christian walk. Christianity is not a seasonal program; it is a lifestyle that we adopt and live by every single day of our lives. The lifestyle requires that we spend time in prayer every day, read the word of God every day, seek the direction of our instructor every minute of our lives, and be obedient to the instructions given to us.
Just like for one reason or another sometimes I am unable to make it to the gym for my daily physical workout, the moment you make a decision to take care of your spiritual being the same thing will happen too. When you make that decision to do something positive in obedience to God’s command, you will face all manner of obstacles geared towards making you lose your focus and force you to give up on your regimen. It is not easy but I can guarantee you that you will have many blessings coming your way when you decide to overcome these obstacles, which in most cases will come in form of human beings.
I do not know what you have been struggling with, but I know that there is one who can give you the strength to overcome the struggle even when everyone else is watching, waiting for you to falter. Remember, you are not in this alone, “He says His Grace is sufficient for you” (2 Corinthians 12:9)  and so even in your current struggle, regardless of how many times you have fallen, He is ready to set you back on the right track if only you will give Him the chance to.
Grace enables you to make it, no matter what. No matter who turns against you, no matter what obstacles you face, no matter how many times you fail. God’s incredible grace is there to pick you up, to revive lost hope, to heal broken bones, and to strengthen your weak will. It is never inadequate, nor is it ever depleted. It never spoils and it has no expiration date. All you need to do is tell Him your need. Abandon your own efforts and trust Him to work things out.
Be sensitive to see and hear the leading of His Spirit….. (Psalm 32:8 “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.”). And as long as you are obedient to his instructions, you will be blessed in ways you cannot believe. Remember, “…to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.” (1 Samuel 15:22)
I have purposed to enroll in a spiritual gym and workout my way to total submission and obedience to God. I know it is not going to be an easy routine but at the end of the day, my spiritual being will be more fit than the fittest gym instructor I’ve ever known. I know I will face discouraging moments, even from my closest friends or even family, but I have decided to take God on this challenge.
Would you be brave enough to join me in this journey? Let’s stay both physically and spiritually fit as we take care of these temples of  the Holy Spirit.



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Hello sis Liz, thanks v.much for sharing this with us, i am trully blessed and learnt a number of things from reading all this.
We sure need to enroll and never quit "spiritual gym"...good for our inner being.

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