Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Exercise Your Life

I have my own ever-forming beliefs.  While I do not consider myself religious, I do consider myself spiritual.  I find a lot of beauty and truth in scripture (Koran, Bible), and enjoy reading these and related texts.  One example is Daily Readings from Your Best Life Now: 90 Devotions for Living at Your Full Potential by Joel Osteen.    

I was struck by one paragraph in the most recent devotion I read:
"Your faith is similar to a muscle.  It grows stronger through resistance.  It is exercised when it's being stretched, when it's being pushed.  That's why God does not usually deliver us from adversity overnight.  He doesn't remove us from every uncomfortable situation in a split second.  He uses those times to build our 'spiritual muscles.'"
I had never thought of the spirit-body relationship in this way before.  Indeed, the body seems to be a microcosm of the universe.  As Joel Osteen so elegantly puts it, we only grow when we push ourselves beyond our current state; this truth applies spiritually, mentally, physically, and emotionally.  We should not back down when things get tough.  Instead, that is our moment to shine; it is our moment to surprise ourselves.  We certainly won't be surprising God when we come out successful on the other end-- He wouldn't put us through the adversity if He didn't know we could succeed.  It is up to each of us however, to make the success happen.      
Regardless of our beliefs, I think we can all agree that succeeding in a challenge or overcoming an obstacle initiates personal development.  We must exercise our mind, body, spirit, and emotions as we do our muscles.  Think back to the last time you really pushed yourself-- spiritually, mentally, physically, or emotionally.  How long ago was that-- have you recently engaged in this type of self growth?  What kept you going?  Are you stronger now because of it?  What is the next challenge that you plan to succeed in?

Have you exercised your life recently?

Philadelphia skyline viewed from the South Street Bridge.  It was a gorgeous day today, so I spent some time walking around taking pictures in the evening.

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