A few years ago, I took some intentional steps to move from a fairly sedentary lifestyle, to actively seeking opportunities for physical fitness. I can’t say the pursuit was spiritual when I began. I was looking to fit better into my clothes, have a little more energy, and find a cheaper life-insurance plan.
Over the last 4 years, I’ve tried to actively find identifiable ways my fitness endeavors can impact my spiritual life. Here are a few I’ve noticed:
Discipline in one area of my life, tends to spill into others. I found it easier to get in routines in other areas when I began a regular exercise routine. I was reading my Bible more, and had a more structured work day. Physical discipline compliments spiritual discipline.
Scheduled time away from distractions gives me opportunity to connect with God. Getting away from the computer/iPad/phone allows me to listen more. Sometimes that listening comes in the form of sermons or podcasts. But, more often than not that listening is just 30-60 minutes of hearing my feet hit the pavement. It is in those forced moments of silence, that I am able to pray and listen well.
Physical fitness gives me energy to respond to God’s call. Maybe it’s having a few extra neighbors over for dinner, when all I want to do is crash. Perhaps it’s having more energy to serve more in my church or community. Staying active and fit gives me the extra energy I need to respond when God is calling me. God promises rest when we are weary (Matthew 11:28-30), but I would like to be able to be weary a little less, and accomplishing His mission a little more.