BY LEANN DILBECK –
In January, my sweet husband, realizing that we are no longer spring chickens, convinced me that we should welcome the new year with a renewed effort to get our very out of shape bodies… into shape. It’s been a new experience for us because we had always enjoyed being able to do anything we wanted to without much thought but as we had discovered over the last couple of summers while enjoying life with our two very active teenagers, we just couldn’t quite keep up like we used to… or at the very least… not as easily!
I simply didn’t know how to fit in one extra thing… but as we began booking our summer vacation… let’s just say I felt a bit more motivated! (wink) He has done a great job of helping me squeeze it into our busy lives. While the original motivation was physical, I’m finding spiritual growth in so many aspects.
When exercising, it doesn’t take long to learn how important the right breathing is and to focus. Deep breaths are essential in improving circulation to our hearts and brains… and isn’t that a great thing when you’re convinced you are going to pass out if you stay on the elliptical one second longer? Deep breaths rejuvenate our minds and our bodies… they restore us and help our focus.
Life is a marathon, wouldn’t you agree? Sometimes it’s hard to know if you’re running life … or it’s running you. Finding that balance can be a struggle. At times, you may compare yourself to the gerbil that’s just running with everything he’s got in that little wheel and yet not getting anywhere. The fact is, if you only take those short shallow breaths, you will deprive your body of the oxygen it needs for maximum performance in the marathon and… eventually pass out. And that’s exactly what the enemy wants… he wants to keep us scrambling and without focus… to keep us running aimlessly in a circle… to literally wear out our minds and bodies… going in that circle. It takes time to focus and to breath in … breath in to your core… that is where our strength comes from. Bodybuilders and power lifters may have trees that grow from their armholes but they will all tell you of the importance of “core” strength. It is absolutely essential to support heavy weight under stressful situations. Not just physical… but spiritual… and that’s not just for individuals, the same is true of our families, our businesses and our churches.
The marathon of L I F E can be uphill sometimes and downhill others… it can be rugged terrain and smooth sailing other times… you can feel like you’re stuck in the middle of rush hour traffic in Tokyo where nobody speaks your language and at other times like you’re in a field of daisies surrounded by majestic mountains… all by yourself. It’s about remembering what… or who is at your core… and remembering to stop and take those deep, deep breaths. Job 33:4 “The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.”