I’ve blogged a lot recently about my journey to fitness. Admittedly, that was never the original intent of this blog, but considering this blog focuses on my personal journey, that has been a significant part of my life these past 3 months. I have learned a lot about myself in these months. I have also been reminded that the discipline required to improve one’s physical condition is very similar to the discipline that is required to improve your spiritual condition.
The journey to fitness, much like the journey of ascent (see what I did there?), is not a straight line type of journey. It is a winding road that is filled with ups and downs. There are days when I can’t wait to get out on the trail to run or on my bike to ride, and there are days where I physically have to make myself get out there to get the work done.
Making the right choices with food is not always easy either. I have found that on stressful days it is so easy to end the day by putting down a couple hundred calories that I don’t have the room for while watching television. On those days where I give in and eat something I shouldn’t, I feel terrible when I go to bed. It’s a terrible feeling to know that a decision I made on the spur of the moment can ruin a completely good day of choices.
The apostle Paul understood this process too. Check out what he wrote in I Corinthians.
Have you ever noticed how easy it is to make excuses for poor decisions when you are having a bad day? We tell ourselves that the indulgence is justified because life has dealt us a difficult day/week/month/year. It’s amazing that in the midst of that decision process it is so hard to think of the lasting consequences of our action. That’s why Paul reminds us that he disciplined his body. Some translations say that he beat his body into subjection.
While I have learned a lot about my body during this fitness journey, I have learned even more about my spiritual body. It may sound crazy, but spiritual discipline is tougher to master than physical discipline. However, learning the things that can trigger a lapse in discipline does seem to give me an early warning system for potential bad choices. If I know that the circumstances are in place that can bring on a bad choice, I put myself on guard immediately. I don’t always avoid the bad decision, but my percentage of good choices goes up.
Discipline is not fun, but it is essential for success on any journey.
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