One major change in my life has been in the area of exercise. I always HATED even the word exercise, so getting going on the exercise thing was a bit difficult for me. It really was a spiritual struggle. Then, as I started to do it, it became a vital part of my day. I was desperate to lose weight and knew that the more I exercised the faster it would come off! So, I really began focusing on the exercise part. I was so excited about the changes the Lord was helping me make in my life.
When ministry interfered with my exercise, I became very irritable and argued with the Lord over the whole thing. Just the other day I was driving down the road taking a meal to a family who had just had a baby and planning on spending some time to chat with a mother of a toddler and newborn, and was literally griping out loud (to an empty car--I'm single!!) about the fact that I was going to miss my exercise for the day. There was going to really be no way to get it in. The Lord immediately convicted me that I was putting my exercise ahead of people. Exercise was good. But exercise has its place. People are more important. If I reach that goal weight a few weeks later because I took time to minister to people, I will be much more grateful and happier about that than if I shove people aside in order to reach that "ideal" weight.
I began to meditate on Paul's admonition to Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:8: for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.
So, while bodily exercise does profit, and it is important, it does not hold a candle to godliness--the promise for the present life AND the life to come!
So, ladies, while we exercise in order to stay fit to minister to God's people, let's remember to minister to God's people!