Right. That lasted for a few weeks until one day I did the bench press and noticed that the amount of weight that I could do on this particular day was more than the previous week and now it's on. REALLY on. I am in there pushing myself like I used to when I was 25 years old (I am twice that now). I was given one of those "Fitbit" fitness watches so now I am determined that if I don't burn at least 650 calories in a workout then I have wasted my time. Last Sunday I was in the narthex after church with one of our members expressing my frustration over the size of my "rear delts" while steering very clear of the donuts and taco bar. Here we go again.
See, I know that for me, working out is something that I cannot half do. I have to push. I want to do more and to burn more and to lift more. If I burn just 10 more calories on the elliptical in 30 minutes than I did the day before than I am feeling really good about myself. But I know I have to push. There are days when I just don't feel it and so I may not go "full bore" and I might even be satisfied with, say, 400 calories, but, it just makes me push harder the next time. You have to work hard at this stuff in order to really see the results. The more results I see, the harder I push because now I know that it is making a difference.
Living a Christ like life is like that. Oh, you didn't know?
"Therefore, be imitators of God..." Ephesians 5:1
I know, right, who knew? We are meant to live a life like Christ, following in his commandments and walking in his ways, and stuff like that. Sometimes I work real hard at this, like, say, on Sundays. Even when I am not quite feeling it (usually meaning that my 7-year old has kept me awake half the night), I am pushing pushing pushing. During Lent, I think I try to push myself to pray more and to do Christ like stuff, you know, more. I try to be really nice. All the time. If you are laughing at what I just said then I guess I failed at "nice" last week. I waited to hold the door open for a lady today at the gym because she was pushing a baby stroller, and I mean, I had to stand there and wait for about 22 seconds. I am trying. Pushing. Working at it.
But not always. I have other things to do. I have to work, I have to get the boy to soccer practice and then home to bathe and then to bed. I have to get him up and ready for school, then I have to take him to school then back to work. I guess I think that this "Christ likeness" will just happen to me without a whole lot of effort. I don't obsess over it at all. I don't work at it that much either. Ok, yes, I held the door open and that was "Christ like" I guess, but I don't make it a habit of working at my "Christ likeness". And let's be honest, even people who don't think about being Christ like hold the door open for people at the gym.
Why don't I work harder at this? Why don't I push? Why do I spend more time working on my "rear delts" than I do on my plan for Christ likeness? This is not going to happen by osmosis, it will take work. It will take hard work. I will have to have a plan. I should plan for small steps first. I should look for results because there is no greater motivation than progress. Then maybe I take a slightly bigger step, like, putting just 5 more pounds on the bench press bar until I master it. I'll never be perfect in the same way that I will never bench all of the weight in the gym. That's not my goal. My goal is to grow, to see progress, and to know that I am a blessing to God, a blessing to other people, and even a blessing to myself.
I need to work at this. I need to push. I need to add a "little more weight" to it all if I get comfortable with where I currently am. I want to be an imitator of God, I really do. How bad do I want this? How much?
As much as I am willing to work for it I suppose...