I have just returned to the gym after four months' enforced absence. Last time I was there was in August 2014. Then, as always, I recorded in a small notebook the weights I lifted, the length of time spent on the elliptical and bicycle, as well as resistance levels I reached.
As I revisited each exercise machine I optimistically set the weights and targets only a little below last time. But I could hardly budge the weights let alone last the distances. It was dismal realizing just how much muscle wastage has occurred. How come that I am so weak?
Time was racing by. I really wanted to achieve something worthwhile. Reducing weights further on the arm strengthening machines I gritted my teeth and pulled. A trainer walked by. Seeing my frantic snatches he gently said, ' Always go for range of movement over weight. What really matters is how much you are moving your muscles.' I nodded, realizing that I was missing the point. As I moved to another machine with determination to hit the target, another trainer reminded me that learning back instead of staying upright rather undid the purpose of the whole exercise.
After, I reflected how much I had spoiled my re-entry by two T's: time and targets. I was so set on getting the exercises over and done to my satisfaction I missed the point. I took short-cuts which spoiled the whole purpose. And, as such things tend to do, it made me think about our spiritual exercises and the way that the two T's can ruin those too. So conscious of passing time and getting our exercises done we can miss the point of being still and knowing God (Ps. 46:10), so that he can pace the relationship and build up our spiritual muscles. I am grateful for the warning learned at the gym.