i woke up early and decided to actually follow through with the idea of going to the gym in the morning. i have always appreciated the concept of work first, rest later, but it remains just that, a concept. i found that after my workout i felt really good. i'm not talking about physically. i've got a bruised back, a broken toe nail and i'm fat... my body did not feel good. but mentally i felt great. i analyzed that "feeling" all the way to L.A. this morning. what is it about working out, and working out in the morning especially, that makes me feel good?
i started with the fact that i feel good whenever i get tons of stuff done before lunch. "it feels so good to be productive!" i also feel good when i have followed through with something that i said i was going to do... especially when it takes discipline. perhaps i feel good when for a few moments i actually resemble the woman i envision myself one day becoming.
is she a better person because she wakes up early? is she more disciplined because she does devotions at 6am? is she more amazing because she ran a marathon and lived to tell about it? is she more mature because she keeps a strict schedule and runs on a tight budget? is she going to be a better mom because she won't let her kids have sugar? is she a better wife because she has worked out all her sh!t and won't burden her husband with a single unmet need? i feel that at some point in my formative years someone told me "yes" she is better for that. i have never been convinced, though i have striven.
somehow loose living has come to connotate lack of focus and discipline. but i have seen a loose life lived with passionate focus and sincere discipline. i have seen a life lived with devout purpose and strategic mindfulness. Jesus napped in the middle of the day. Jesus napped while others worked. Jesus changed plans on a whim. Jesus prayed at all hours of the day. Jesus stayed up late at night. Jesus had no budget. Jesus was devoted and didn't carry a Daily Bread devotional. Jesus never had kids. Jesus never married. Jesus never trained for a marathon. Jesus ate and drank and feasted when given the option. Jesus fasted once. Jesus broke rules.
i am not making a case that those things i may have considered "good" or "disciplined" are actually bad or wrong... i am however pushing the idea that they are not what i thought they were... they are not essential, they are how some humans function. i don't want to feel good because i went to the gym early in the morning. i want to feel good because i am becoming stronger and as a result i am perhaps adding longevity to this life i have been granted.
oh to change my thinking... to rid myself of the non-essential, fantastical standards that man prescribed for our protection and containment and to take on the example of Christ... to live a life open and expansive, loose and flexible, devoted to my Father, grounded in love and fueled by His goodness. now that's an ideal worth holding on to.