Spiritual (and Physical) Exercises
Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13).
Imagine the “work out” of the above verse to be an exercise routine. Going to the pool or the beach in the summer sometimes reminds us how important staying fit can be! We know working out is a good thing physically. And we also now understand exercise to valuable mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Good exercise is essential for a healthy lifestyle.
Taking our faith seriously, then, let us consider spending time “working out” our salvation as if we were participating in an exercise class. In such a “class,” you would not so much be in fear and trembling. Instead, as your spirit became more “fit,” your awe and wonder would grow, your understanding would deepen and your inquisitiveness would continue to expand. This month, consider these spiritual exercises:
View the world as a gift from God.
Expect small miracles.
Look for opportunities to show kindness.
Smile; recognize sacred moments.
Notice colors; feel the breeze.
Learn something new.
Sit in the shade and watch the world for five minutes without moving.
Pray for a friend in need. Give thanks for that friend and for the gift of friendship.
Keep on trying.
Now let’s shift our focus on the verse. See the skyline of Charlotte filled with towering cranes and barricades along the roads and interstates. New buildings are rising almost every day. Something significant is happening. Charlotte is under construction.
So let’s again consider our verses from above: “God, who is at work in you …” You are under construction. And a deeper truth: you are not working out your salvation on your own. You are being strengthened “to will,” (that is, to make choices), and “to work” (to live out those choices) for the pleasure of God. Today, embrace a sense of sacredness in the decisions you make and what you do. Notice, claim, and remember the good that is happening within you.
And don’t forget to exercise!
“It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.”
– Babe Ruth