Friday, April 12, 2013

Going the Extra Mile


2 Corinthians 13:11
Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice!  Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace.  And the God of love and peace will be with you.

At long last!  The new gym, You Fit, which my husband, Danny, and I join back in February, is finally open this week!  Four weeks later than first projected, so it's been a while since I've had a decent work out.

Though I am looking forward to going, especially because Danny will be with me, there's also a part of me which dreads it.  I'm feeling soft.  Out of shape.  Worried about stiff, sore muscles the day after.

But, I forge ahead anyway.

And, with Danny there to offer encouragement and support, I actually experience a longer, harder, more satisfying work out than I've had in months! His tenacity and drive inspire me.  I find that I'm not looking at the clock and thinking:  Have I been long enough on the treadmill?  Can I skip those crunches today?  Do my arms really need to lift any more weights?

No!  I stick with it, enjoying the whole routine, particularly when Danny shows me how to use equipment I've never tried before.  Like the Energizer Bunny, I keep going and going and going . . .

Whew!  Fun!  And, am I sore the next day?  Not nearly as much as I feared.  I'm raring to get back to the gym, all because I have a partner with whom I can share exercise.  Who will encourage me.  Hold me accountable.

Thank you, Danny, for making me go the extra mile!

~

Just as our bodies need exercise to stay healthy, so do our souls.  The Christian walk is never without its snares, pitfalls and temptations.  We can nourish and nurture our spiritual lives by faithfully reading scripture, praying, and participating in worship services and Bible studies.

But, that's just the first mile . . .

As Christians, St. Paul reminds us, we are called to encourage one another in the faith.  To hold ourselves accountable to our brothers and sisters in Christ.  To inspire and uplift each other.

To make going the extra mile a cause for rejoicing.

~

How are you keeping your spiritual life fit?

Will you pray with me?
Father, we all need encouragement to go that extra mile for Jesus every day.  Help us to uplift our brothers and sisters in the faith.  Let us seek out and find encouragement when we need it to keep our spirits strong in You.  Amen.

23 comments:

  1. Hi, Martha:
    Always keep my spiritual life fit. Having a continuous conversation w/God every day
    Thanking him for every gift he gives me
    Saying good morning
    Talking to him all the time because I KNOW that he listens to every word.
    --
    Chris

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Chris!
      It sounds like you are in excellent spiritual health, my friend. And, yes, our God listens to every word we say . . .
      Blessings to you!

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  2. I love the analogy you give between working the body out and that of the soul. Blessings to you my dear friend!

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    1. So glad you liked this analogy, Vrndavana, and took the time to stop by today.
      Blessings and love to you!

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  3. Well done Martha! I've been a member of You-Fit for two years now. I never thought I would be the type to work out at the gym...it turns out I was right;)

    Our spiritual practice is just that...practice. We need to remind ourselves of the truth daily and practice being present and grateful. This routine will never end. EVER. I'm so glad that I get to start fresh each moment.

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    1. Wow! Good for you! I knew there were quite a few of these in Florida, but only two in Georgia at the moment. It's an awesome gym!
      And, yes, it's all about the practice and keeping up the routine with each moment being a fresh start.
      Thanks so much for visiting, Leah!
      Love and blessings!

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  4. I really have more moments when I wish to be alone but I also believe in the power of the community. Yes, we do need to encourage and lift up others, share faith and break bread more often.

    Going the extra mile is really inspiring ~ when others really pushes us up.

    I pray with you. Lots of love!

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    1. Melissa, I love my times of solitude, too; that's when I rely on God to motivate me, especially in writing. But, I know I need interaction with others, either to encourage or be encouraged, especially when the going gets tough. It's great when someone helps us go that extra mile!
      Thanks so much for visiting, my friend!
      Love and blessings!

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  5. I've tried working out at home by myself and taking classes at the gym and the gym wins hands down because of the power of the the group encouragement. Great analogy with the spiritual life as well...

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    1. Thanks so much for coming by, Lynne!
      I hear you loud and clear with the gym winning over working out at home. Peer encouragement is an awesome motivator!
      Glad you liked the analogy, my friend!
      Love and blessings!

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  6. As they say, no man is an island, so we do need the encouragement and support of others for our spiritual nourishment, but we also need time for introspection because we each have our own individual pathway with our Lord. Nice post Martha. Blessings to you.

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Suzy!
      The balance you describe here is perfect - we do need both solitude/quiet and the interactions with others as we grow in our spiritual journey.
      Glad you enjoyed the post, my friend.
      Love and blessings!

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  7. Great post Martha. It's amazing how a word of encouragement can help us on the way. B Blessed! ~ Mike

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Mike!
      Yes, a word of encouragement, no matter how small, can go a long, long way.
      Blessings to you, my friend!

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  8. THanks Martha for writing this post. As you always do, inspired my own post for this week about practicing our faith more in our lives. We need to spend some time on our spiritual selves, our faith and time with God. Just like we do with other aspects of our lives. I like thinking of it as exercise, then we might think about faith as building up a habit.

    You've encouraged me to go the extra mile with my faith today:)

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Vishnu!
      I'm so glad this inspired a post for you, my friend, and that you will be going that extra mile with your faith today!
      As our pastor shared today in church, it's not enough for our souls to "fill up" only on Sundays - they need nurturing on a daily basis.
      Have a great week and I'll be looking for your next blog.
      Blessings to you!

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  9. yes..the motto in our house is to never be "just good enough"

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Annmarie!
      That's a great motto to have.
      Blessings and love!

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  10. I love the comparison between working to be physically fit and working to be spiritually fit. I am trying to be more regular and devoted in my prayer and meditation practice. Consistency is the key, isn't it?

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    1. I'm so glad you liked the comparison, Galen. Yes, consistency is the key, that's for sure!
      Thanks for visiting!
      Love and blessings!

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  11. I think the message of this post is really important. The value of association with others that are on the same spiritual path, to help encourage and hold us accountable, is invaluable. It's really critical to one's progress can can be instrumental in moving it forward.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by today, Jessica!
      Yes, accountability to one another is so important. We need that mirror which only another can hold up to truly see how we are doing.
      Blessings and love!

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  12. i'm popping in from the a-Z and I love finding other believers in the blogosphere! I'm wearing down spiritually b/c my dad (almost 90) has been in and out of the hospital since Jan. I help care for my 92 yr. old mom as well. I know I'm where I'm suppose to be, I just get so weary. Forging ahead for me recently has meant tolerating the emotional upheaval and sadness that comes with helping aging parents. My dad had a stroke in 2007, and I've been helping my folks since. We are a family of faith, so we know God is with us and are at peace with death, but until we get there...it's just hard. I'm a new follower, as I love your encouragement. Visit me, if you'd like:
    from The Dugout

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