Training Days

Yesterday Christy and I signed up at a local gym. We were members of the Cooper Fitness Center in McKinney for the last year. After a year or so of personal training, spin classes and general working out I had a net loss of weight-- not huge numbers, but I lost several pounds of fat and gained several pounds of muscle. How do I know this? Because part of the routine at Cooper is follow-up. When you first sign up a trainer does measurements. After a month, after six months, and a year they take other measurements, all of which help to assess whether one is making good progress toward one’s goals. Hopefully I’ll see good results here too. It’ll help that our supply of desserts from Mom’s Bakery has run out!

Our son James, who will be a freshman at the high school, started a physical training class with other athletes this week. Every day he has diligently, and with a great attitude, woken himself up at 6:00 and been ready to go to the facility by 6:30. I seriously doubt this commitment to early mornings will carry over after August 22, but for now… go James!

On the church side of things, I want to say thank you to Janet and her team of adults who have made Vacation Bible School such a blessing for so many kids this week. Janet shared the other day that over 50 kids were in attendance, and more than 30 adults helping in some capacity. Two of those kids live in the same house as me, and I can attest that they’ve had fun. It is a joy to be part of a church with such a commitment and passion for young people. The work and planning everyone did before the week arrived has produced good fruit.

Training/discipline/follow through… they always pay off, right? Whether it’s football or VBS when we focus on the task ahead and put the right amount of energy into it, good things usually happen. When was the last time you did a fitness assessment-- not physical, but spiritual? Author William Paulsell has said,

Athletes, musicians, writers, scientists, and others progress in their fields because
They are well-disciplined people. Unfortunately, there is a tendency to think that
In matters of faith we should pray, meditate, and engage in other spiritual
Disciplines only when we feel like it. Weavings, November-December 1987

Do you think about setting goals for your life with Christ? What would they look like? One way to begin this practice is to establish a rule of life. Here’s an example from Pope John XXIII:

Fifteen minutes of silent prayer upon rising in the morning
Fifteen minutes of spiritual reading
Before bed, a general examination of conscience followed by confession;
Then identifying issues for the next morning’s prayer
Arranging the hours of the day to make this rule possible; setting aside
Specific time for prayer, study, recreation, and sleep
Making a habit of turning the mind to God in prayer

If you created a rule of life, what would you include? May we all know the blessing of a thoughtful, devoted spiritual life!