Learning a sweaty lesson
After writing the previous piece, I went to gym for my daily sweat session. For me, exercise doesn’t come naturally and it takes a whole lot of motivation just to get me there every time. But that is only half the motivation, because as I walk through the door it is hard not to simply swipe my card for the points and walk out again without any guilty feelings.
But something must’ve taken me over, because I ended up doing such a workout on the treadmill that the sweat simply poured off me. And without thinking I moved to the cycle and the same thing happened. It must’ve been the feelings of guilt about the way I stuffed my face the previous evening that drove me to exercise so hard. Or maybe the image of that fat guy in the mirror who I with a shock realised was me! I nearly fainted as I got off the bike, my legs like jelly.
On the way to the bathroom I slipped into the steam room, to rest a while before tackling the rest of the way to the showers. I enjoy the sweating, because it feels as if I’m losing weight without exercising, but not for too long, because then I start feeling as if my insides are boiling.
There’s a guy sitting next to me and he wants to chat. It’s quite nice, because it makes the time go by quicker – but it shouldn’t be too long a story. My parents brought me up well and you don’t walk out while someone’s talking.
And so he starts by giving me a brief summary of his life and I realise I might have to stay longer, because maybe the Lord wants me to help my sweat buddy with something. But the longer he talks, the closer I get to boiling point.
Sit, I hear my mother’s voice behind me, and I get another lesson on good manners. My eyes start burning and all my pores are streaming water. The song Blessed are the ones runs through my head. My sweat buddy’s story is far from over.
I wonder how the Lord wants me to mean something to this guy. It would have to become clear very soon. I wonder how I’m going to say it, because the power of speech has slipped out through my streaming pores.
To my surprise he stood up, tucked his towel around him and said: “Tom Watson (the golf player) always said he tried to live life in a way that would not disappoint his father. I don’t know which father he meant, but it can just as well be our heavenly Father.” And out of the door he went.
I slowly collected myself, not even trying to look neat as I walked past the swimming pool where the ladies were busy with their daily routine. For the first five minutes in the cold shower it felt as if I was lapping up the water. In the process of getting my body temperature back to normal, the scripture from the previous piece came to mind again: 9Be assured that from the first day we heard of you, we haven’t stopped praying for you, asking God to give you wise minds and spirits attuned to his will, and so acquire a thorough understanding of the ways in which God works.
And it’s as clear as daylight: With every decision I have to make, I will first ask myself whether the choice I will be making will make my father or heavenly Father proud, or whether He will be disappointed.
There I was in the steam room, dying from sweating. I thought it was to help someone, but eventually he showed me the truth. He gave me a simple solution to always help me act with great wisdom. A simple solution to make it easy for the Holy Spirit to take my hand and to do what is right. With an image that would make my father and Father proud.
Do you sometimes struggle with what is right?
What would your dad think of your decisions?
What would your heavenly Father think of your decisions?
Father, thank you for the tool You gave me to help me with making decisions. I know I‘ve made some wrong choices in the past. I still have to bear some of the consequences. Please help me to remember the image and to make sure that my decisions will make You and my dad proud. Amen.