By Pastor Andy Plank
A Different Kind of Exercise
May 21, 2023
Once upon a time, very long ago, when I was in high school, I was involved in martial arts and could do pushups on my knuckles on a concreate floor. I could also sit on my heels with my feet crossed underneath me and hold that position for several minutes. I could bend over while keeping my knees straight (well, mostly straight) and put the palms of my hands flat on the floor. The strangest thing happened to me the other day. I got down on my hands and knees to pick something up and I had to crawl over to the bookcase and pull myself up. It was pitiful! As I think back and compare what my body could do when I was in my teens to what it can do now and all I can do is shake my head and sigh! It occurs to me that something strange has happened while I wasn’t paying attention. I have somehow gotten older, and I can’t do what I used to be able to do. Some of this can be accounted for by realizing I am nearly forty years older and there is nothing I can do about that. However, the biggest issue is the fact I don’t stretch and use all those muscles anymore. Muscles and tendons in our bodies will tighten up and lose their elasticity very quickly. The medical term for this phenomenon is atrophy, and I discovered I have this in spades! While I am helpless to prevent aging, I am perfectly capable of stretching and exercising, I just don’t! As a result, I am suffering the consequences of my inactivity. The same thing can happen to us spiritually. When we are young Christians, we are often quite often on fire for Jesus, and we exercise our spiritual muscles through fervent prayer and in-depth Bible study. If we let them, as we age spiritually, our spiritual muscles begin to lose their flexibility because we don’t pray, study, and use those muscles like we once did and just like our physical bodies, our spiritual muscles become atrophied and limited. I need to get to work and get some flexibility in these old muscles and tendons. While Chuck Norris doesn’t have to worry about me becoming a martial arts champion, it would be nice to be able to get up off the floor without struggling. And while I may never have the spiritual insight of many Christians, I AM accountable for exercising the spiritual muscles God has given me. You are accountable for yours as well, so let’s get busy.
Be blessed and be a blessing . . . Bro. Andy