I go to the gym . . . why????

Yes, that is the question of the day.  But today I think I found the answer.  At least my answer anyway.  It’s not the obvious answer, it’s not what I thought it was all these years.  Today my revelation came and it was a surprise.  I thought I went to the gym for my body.  Turns out I go as much for my mind and my spirit as my body.  I go for the people.

Today revealed that truth to me even though today at the gym was just like all my other days at the gym, nothing out of the ordinary.  But I realized that the ordinary at my gym is really quite extraordinary.  Why?  Because the people there are extraordinary.  Oh, not to the casual observer, perhaps.  We all look like the ordinary people that we are.  And yet when I learn their stories, get to see beneath the surface, I am encouraged and inspired in so many ways.

Today one woman showed up for our exercise class in an orthopedic boot.  She had broken her foot.  I have already written to you about my friend who comes to exercise class hooked up to her portable oxygen, which she has given a name and dresses in appropriate seasonal garb, to the delight and amusement of us all.  If I need to be encouraged not to give up (on anything) I just need to get myself to my fitness class at the gym.

Today was no exception.  I learned that a fellow classmate (who usually is next to me in the back row) has recently been signed and embarked upon a professional modeling career even though she is in her late fifties.  This requires no stretch of the imagination to believe in that she is tall and beautiful.  But this is usually a goal pursued by much younger women with only varying degrees of success.  So to me it speaks of hope in seeing things come to pass, of not giving up.   Then I noticed everyone signing a card, which turned out to be a wedding card for one of the exercise class members.  Remarkable!  Unexpected!  She is eighty-four years old and getting married!  I love knowing this because it gives me hope.  If this can happen for her, maybe this can happen for me too.  I should not count out any possibilities in life.  It is not too late!

So I went in to the gym to give my body a work out and came out of the gym inspired, uplifted, connected and reminded once again that everybody has a story. And I draw inspiration and hope from each of these stories.  If my body was strengthened as much as my heart and my spirit were today, then I really had a good workout!  And my commitment to keep on showing up, to not give up, was renewed once again as I spent time with these very ordinary, totally extraordinary people.  Did I mention my friend who walks the walking/running track daily with her cane?  I don’t need to look far for reminders of resilience and perseverance when I’m there.

God wants us to take care of our bodies and He wants us to renew our minds and uplift our spirits.  Apparently, I can do all three at my gym.  What a revelation! How thankful to God I am for all my gym friends, who are such encouragements and inspirations, God’s gifts to me.  They remind me to never give up.  Which reminds me that God never gives up on me.  God never gives up on any of us.  God never gives up on you, dearest reader.

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?  You are not your own; you were bought at a price.  Therefore honor God with your body.”  (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — His good, pleasing and perfect will.”  (Romans 12:2)

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.”  (Philippians 4:8)

“The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”  (Deut. 31:8)

“Where can I go from Your Spirit?  Where can I flee from Your presence?  If I go up to the heavens, You are there;  if I make my bed in the depths, You are there.  If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast.”  (Psalm 139:7-10)

“The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.'”  (Jeremiah 31:3)

” . . . And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)

sincerely,         Grace Day


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