Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Parable of Exercise (Coming Unto Christ)

Our bodies need exercise, they are temples given to us by a loving Heavenly Father and He has asked us to take care of them. Latter day prophets and apostles have strongly encouraged us to exercise in these latter days. Just as we have been asked to care for our bodies, we must also care for our spirits by coming unto Christ. 

For the past two months I have been working out consistently more than I have in a long while. I had gotten out of the habit unintentionally as life starts to take over and pretty soon I realized that I was constantly missing my exercise routines and good habits that I had developed because one day of not going to the gym turned into two days and so on and so forth. Needless to say it's been a really hard journey to get back to where I was before, but nothing that has been impossible. 

It's not that I don't like taking care of my mind, body, and spirit through strength training and cardio. In fact I love it and now that I've renewed my habit, my body craves it and my mind thrives upon it but just as change always is, it's been a hard and painful process. My muscles were out of practice when I first started and every bit of exercise I was putting my body through seemed to be uncomfortable and more painful than those I would observe around me, those who had been working towards their fitness goals longer and more consistently than I had leaving them to have muscle that was in practice and endurance that had been built as a firm foundation.

That's the thing when you go to the gym, you don't get to see where they started or what their struggles were to get to that point. All I can guarantee is that it took them some hard work and uncomfortable journeys to get to where they are today. 

It wasn't until two months of consistently working out and putting my body through great pain and discomfort that I finally started to feel like progress was being made, muscle was being built, and I the pain I had endured was worth it because it wasn't going to be that extremely uncomfortable as it had in the past because I had created a foundation of strength and muscle for my body.

I started to ponder on those two hard months, months where I was excited to see the results and I would push through the very hard and uncomfortable pain my body was not used to yet because I had so much faith it would get easier. I believe that's how our journey is as we strive to come unto Christ. When we aren't in the light and giving our whole hearts to Christ, it becomes a very hard and uncomfortable journey. The whole point of this mortal life is to become as Christ is, to be perfect as we take His name upon us. When we are living in sin, disobedience, selfishness, and pride we start to turn our hearts away from Christ and it becomes an uncomfortable life because Christ has to be our foundation because no matter who you are, you have the light of Christ within you.

When we forget how much our happiness and salvation depends upon the Savior, our journey is one that takes a lot more work and faith before we can experience that peace and happiness that comes from progression. The more we strive to take upon us the name of Christ, the easier and more comfortable it becomes to feel of His love, His Spirit, and His healing powers. Just as starting or restarting a new work out journey can be trying and uncomfortable, so can taking change through repentance and coming unto Christ; but the more we practice it and have faith in the process, the more rewarding it becomes.

If your faith has been tested or if you have lost your way and you are in need of repentance Christ stands with open arms ready to lift you up. You have no reason to fear, come unto Him. Expect it to be a challenge because change isn't easy. Changing your heart, your habits, your desires, and your ways of thinking is going to take a lot of focus and may cause some moments where you will feel extremely uncomfortable and may even want to give up, but the view you will see and the peace in your heart you will feel will be a lasting reward that will make every single moment worth it. Don't give up! Start, and start today! 

If you start to feel your heart hardening towards the light you have been in, maybe you need to make a small change. A weight lifter can't progress if he lifts the same size of weights every single time. Perhaps it's time you give a little bit more of your heart to Christ, up-ing your weight and celebrating your progress in becoming just a little bit more like Him. 

Christ loves you infinitely. If you don't know this life will never be as peaceful and satisfying until you do. Live as he would live, love as he would love, pray as he would pray, and serve as he would serve and then you will have the power to know for yourself is Christ lives and just what gifts and powers he has to offer you.

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