This is what a one mile run after almost three years of nothing feels like. Painful. Slow. Fantastic. It feels fantastic. I've been trying to talk myself into any level of movement for the past couple of months. I have successfully stopped eating full bags of gummy bears on a regular basis. So there's that.
Earlier this week I sent a text to my spouse. "Help. There are cookies and cupcakes here at the office. Remind me why I don't want to eat them all?". His reply "I'm sure there is something you want more. Think of that one thing."
Such. Good. Advice.
I really want my pants to fit. And I want to model good habits for my daughters. And I want to stave off the diabetes in my genetic pool.
I am currently working my way through Karen Swallow Prior's new book "On Reading Well". I just finished the first chapter and I love it already. I've been following KS Prior on Instagram and Twitter for the last two years and I'm impressed with her intellect, her character, courage and wit. She was hit by a bus six months ago and watching her recovery is inspirational. Her book is brilliant. It's about how reading good books can help you live a better and more virtuous life. I love a book that makes me want to read more books.
I underlined this quote last night.
"Prudence is love that chooses with sagacity between that which hinders it and that which helps it". Augustine.
I had to look up sagacity in the dictionary.
Definition of sagacity: the quality of being sagacious
Helpful. So helpful.
Further research revealed sagacity (and sagacious) refer to making decisions with discernment, with wisdom, with slowing down long enough to think through the decision.
I sat in the bathtub last night pondering a life where my decisions about my behavior are based on love choosing what is going to increase love and what is going to hinder love. Hmmmm.
Our pastor this morning preached about the gospel of grace. I loved the message. Jesus died on the cross for you. His death and resurrection took away your sin. You can be given brand new life simply by accepting that gift. No other requirements. No other checklists. Grace. That's it.
So today after church I was curled up in my recliner pondering if I was going to spend the afternoon playing on my phone or if in fact I was going to put on my shoes and go for a run.
My typical pattern of fighting with myself can spiral into a large load of guilt. Not inspiring. Shame makes me want to eat cookies. But the sermon this morning encouraged us to embrace the freedom of grace. I don't live under shame. I'm not on a treadmill of works hoping I balance out the crud in my life with enough discipline to sneak by. God loves me regardless.
The glorious truth is Grace gives me the freedom to choose.
Love wants me to choose what will increase love and to shun what will decrease love.
Playing on my phone all afternoon will hinder love. I'll ignore my kids. I'll snap at my spouse. I'll feel groggy and gross. I'll start to listen to the shame cycle. Putting on my shoes will be a choice to take care of the body I've been given. It'll shake out the sludge in my brain. It'll validate my courageous sister who has been running and texting me her progress.
So I hauled up and put on my shoes and ran a mile.
Not because I had to. Because I chose to.
So my friends. Choose this day. Go running. Call your doctor. Forgive your friend. Cut up the credit card. Burn the porn. Make an appointment with the counselor. Quit smoking.
Try again on that one thing you know is hindering love.
Grace wants to give you a gift of freedom.
I love Jesus. I think my two daughters can change the world. I think you can too.
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