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Monday, January 14, 2008

Discipline

For months now, I've been lamenting my lack of discipline in...EVERYTHING. I remember when I used to be very in control of myself and my surroundings, didn't indulge in things just because I "felt like it", and so my current state of affairs has been quite concerning to me.

Yet the answer is so simple...such that I didn't even see it. It actually took a couple days of working out to jog my memory. (No pun intended!).

I have been undisciplined because I haven't been working out at the gym. It's that simple.

Back when I had a regular workout time, I was VERY disciplined in everything. I was more conscientious about my food, about what I drank (or didn't drink), about my time, everything. The only missing element then was actually God...he didn't get a lot of my time. But when I started going to Mass regularly again, I was actually still a member of a gym, and I was training for the Fire Dept. test. So I'd go to Mass, and as the club was so close to the church, I'd head out to do my Sunday workout. It was awesome, and became a regular routine. So it was that my spiritual life actually fit into and encouraged my physical training.

When I moved to my present home, I both didn't have the money or the time to go to the gym, so I dropped my membership. Besides, that club is now far south of me! And I figured that walking the dogs, then maybe running with them later would work out. I have dumbbells at home, and really thought I could keep up my discipline with regard to exercise on my own.

Well, I didn't, and because both of my dogs loved to pull at the leash, but for different reasons, well, running with them was out of the question. Unless I wanted to die by dragging.

Not so much.

Then, when I experienced my real conversion, I didn't get a gym membership because I wanted to go to Daily Mass and felt that this membership would cut into my spiritual life. So I didn't follow through.

Then I fell away from going to Daily Mass, and still, I don't often go anymore. Although that often has more to do with my crazy work schedule than anything else. Then again....often I don't go because I am not disciplined enough to go. In other words, I often don't put God first in my life, to the degree of choosing other things over daily Mass.

There. Does that prove yet that I'm not a Saint?

I've come to realize, though, that my workout time gives glory to God, in many ways. Because the body is indeed a temple of the Holy Spirit, and we are all obligated to take care of this gift. Because we need to "push" ourselves, and discipline in one area causes us to be more disciplined in other areas. If we become accustomed to pushing past our own wills through physical training, it follows that this same mentality will apply in, say, the spiritual life. Because while the medium changes, the thought process and virtue required is exactly the same!

Perhaps I will never get to daily Mass because I'll be in the gym at that time, then have to go home and study. However, perhaps it will happen that my time will be used more wisely, which will lead to better sleeping habits (and better sleep!) which will help me to be able to get up earlier and attend 6:30 am Mass.

At this point, I've come to realize that not having a gym membership might well be the worst thing I could have done to myself...because that has been my anchor. Having a spiritual life SHOULD be my anchor, but it hasn't been...because it's somewhat intangible. I'm still human, and I need those things of the world to make me face my mortality and frailty. It is this recognition of my own weakness that drives me to seek God because it is ONLY in our weaknesses that we will EVER find Him.

3 comments:

gman59 said...

Good blog! I too have been trying to put things together as to what has happened to me lately. I have stopped working out and have immersed myself into work.This due to a breif but terrible health issue is wrong. I too have made my eating habits and general overall daily life a mess. I would also if had the time option attend a morning mass.My trouble is in this bedroom suburb the church seems to cater to part time catholics and has morning mass at 9 or 9:30 in the morning.( I guess after mom has dropped the kids at school) I wish it was at 6:30 instead so I could go prior to work. I am looking for a church but have been fruitless in my search.
I am trying to get back to the gym beause yes the discipline is missing or if not discipline but the daily structure.
Thanks for sharing and I enjoy reading your blog. God bless!

angelmeg said...

Why can't having a spiritual life include being a gym member? There is a lot to be said for the spirituality of a good workout.

Besides how can you do the Lord's work if the equipment isn't in good shape? It all ties in together.

adoro said...

Yes, that's EXACTLY my point, and what I didn't see before, although I should have because it's OBVIOUS.