Until last week. After almost two and a half years, I finally reached a breaking point in my lack of physical activity & started doing P90-X again. I'm not going to lie, the first week was brutal...and when I reached the weekend, every single muscle in my body was sore (Understatement). It hurt to move my legs, it hurt to reach my arm across my body, it hurt to sit up in my bed in the morning. But you know what? I love it. Not because I'm a creepy weirdo that loves pain...but because the pain & soreness in my muscles tells me that the program is actually working! Anyone who works out (or ever has) probably knows exactly what I'm talking about. The soreness is almost like your body telling you that all the sweat & hard work from the day before was actually profitable. I'm thankful for the sore muscles because otherwise I would begin to wonder if I had pushed myself hard enough, or if I need to find a different workout program. The "pain" is there because getting in shape and staying in shape is hard work. The easy thing to do is what I did for the last 2.5 years - nothing! Doing nothing requires no discipline, no effort. It doesn't force me to make time in my schedule every day to make sure I work out. Doing nothing requires...nothing.
Which finally brings me to the point I'm trying to make in this post. There's something I've been trying to think through the last couple of weeks...and even as I'm writing this, I'm still trying to figure out exactly how to put it into words. This one is totally just me thinking out loud...in writing, I guess. A "stream of consciousness" if you will. So bear with me...here it goes. I wonder if we should be "spiritually sore" sometimes-? I wonder if our walk with Christ some days should give us "sore muscles" from stretching ourselves & getting out of our comfort zones? From cutting out sinful practices & habits from our lives? I don't know exactly what that would "look like," or if that makes any sense, but I've really been thinking about this lately. Especially because I know that the Christian life is not meant to be easy (most of us know this from firsthand experience - and if you don't, you will). But when I really stop to think about it...I think about some of the hard things Jesus said about following Him. The way He urged the crowds that followed Him everywhere to "count the cost" of true discipleship. Things like:
- "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters - yes, even his own life - he cannot be my disciple."
- "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me."
- "Anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple."
- "Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple."
"Based on what we have heard from Jesus in the Gospels, we would have to agree that the cost of discipleship is great. But I wonder if the cost of nondiscipleship is even greater. The price is certainly high for people who don't know Christ and who live in a world where Christians shrink back from self-denying faith and settle into self-indulging faith. While Christians choose to spend their lives fulfilling the American dream instead of giving their lives to proclaiming the kingdom of God, literally billions in need of the gospel remain in the dark."
I don't know exactly what keeps holding me back...but my prayer is going to be for those chains to break. I know this is a weird concept, but I can't think of a better way to put it right now: I need to start getting out of my comfort zone. I want to have "sore muscles" for Christ.