Monday, August 11, 2008

the core of things

Psalm 119:57 (The Message)  Because you have satisfied me, God, I promise
      to do everything you say.
   I beg you from the bottom of my heart: smile,
      be gracious to me just as you promised.
   When I took a long, careful look at your ways,
      I got my feet back on the trail you blazed.
On Saturday I attended an early morning fitness session with my wife.  A young man from New Zealand is visiting friends and he's a fitness buff.  He put us through some strenuous exercises that tested our whole bodies.  The hardest exercises for me were the ones that dealt with my "core"...a word they use now for the abdominal area.  My core is weak and I found that my back was doing too much of the work.  If I can strengthen the front of my body, I can take a burden off my back.  As I reflected on the advantage of exercise I realized that something similar happens spiritually.  If I work on my spiritual "core"(my upward focus on the Lord) I'm less likely to stray from Him.  If I develop my personal enjoyment of Him daily through intimate personal time in prayer and the Word, I am more prone to think and do what is right and, when tempted, recognize and flee.  This is because I'm sensitive to my Lord and want nothing to come between us.  By strengthening my spiritual "core" I take the load off my weak human "backbone".  I actually found that this works in a practical way.  Yesterday my wife and I had lunch at a fast food place and the cashier gave me too much change.  I realized this as I was sitting down to eat and I dealt with the competing thoughts of keeping the money or returning it.  I remembered that the Lord I'd been with that morning was aware of the situation and so I returned the change.   I need to keep working on my "core" physically and spiritually because my personal backbone is too weak to support good health.
blessings from my core to yours!
Rob Smith

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