Did you think I was going to say "a box of chocolates?" Nope. I don't really like boxes of chocolates for the exact reason Forrest Gump mentions. That's what makes M&M's so perfect...every one is just as good as the previous one and the next one, and the next... But I digress...
I have been struggling with myself for some weeks now (months? years??) It's the Christian's struggle, I suppose, or at least it should be. I so desire to be organized and efficient in the use of my time. I so desire to get to the end of my day and consider it a day productively spent for the Lord. Training my children. Setting a godly example. Shunning laziness and empty hours spent in pursuits with no lasting effect. You know, I want to be a faithful servant.
So, all of my thinking, reading, praying has at least produced a diagnosis. I lack intensity and endurance. I lack follow-through. I start out strong, full of desire and zeal. But after a few hours of struggling with my own sin and those of the five little sinners in my care, my intensity wavers, totters, staggers, and eventually falters. I can usually point to a specific time in my afternoon where I lose my intensity and the day begins spiraling downward. My priorities are no longer the Lord's, and it becomes a "hold on for dear life"-type scenario. How disappointing, those days, when I lay in bed waiting for sleep to come.
At this point you must be wondering why I called this “Life is Like an Elliptical?”
I am a lover of analogies. Always have been. Loved that portion of the SAT! So there I was, this morning, climbing onto the elliptical trainer for my workout. I was dreading it, as it had been a few days since I last worked out. And we all know how tough it is to climb back on the horse, so to speak. I chose the interval training program...2.5 minutes easy, 2.5 minutes difficult...over and over. I had that fleeting thought as I climbed on, “How like life. Every day is spent plodding through easy intervals followed by harder ones.” As I set the timer and began going, I found myself watching the timer. 24:59, 24:58, 24:57...Ugh. Would I ever finish? So, quickly changing tact, I decided to watch the RPM's and keep them as steady as possible. My objective was to keep the RPM steady despite which interval I was on, easy or difficult.
See where I'm going?
Instead of responding to the “tick-tick” of my day, questioning whether I will make it to the end, I need to keep my eyes, and heart, focused on my RPM's. It's about remaining consistent through the interval training of our day, for that's just what it is. Physically, I desire to maintain my RPM's as a means to health. Spiritually, I desire to maintain my RPM's as a means to sanctification. The Lord has chosen my interval training program for this day. Who am I to choose to get off before my timer says zero?
May Thy rich grace impart
Strength to my fainting heart,
My zeal inspire.
As Thou hast died for me,
Oh may my love to Thee
Pure, warm and changeless be,
A living fire.
Ray Palmer, 1830
from “My Faith Looks Up to Thee”