An Exemplary Sort of Exercise

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The never-before-said words rolled surprisingly off my tongue.  “Well that’s even more impressive because dumbbells don’t cry if they are woken up.”  An athletically built and dressed father had just entered the school at which I work, curling in either arm portable car seats—each of which contained an adorable, slumbering twin.

He moved with equal parts grace and stealth, knowing that one slip or jolt would rouse one of the drowsy pair, resulting in cries which would likely incite the cries of the other.  Rarely had I seen another’s sanity so bound to their coordination.

As I walked out of the school, still amused by the image and proud that he chuckled at my comment, I could not help having a sense of admiration for the man.  There he was: caring delicately for his infant twins, likely doing some favor for his child at the elementary school, yet conscious of his need to be healthy and active.  And he wasn’t just staying healthy for himself.  Caring for himself allowed him to take better care of his children.

I’ll be honest.  This guy didn’t inspire me to exercise more.  That is a herculean task—just ask my roommates.  But he reminded me that as a person whose vocation is to care for others:  for their spiritual well-being and their practice of the faith, my first duty is to offer myself in prayer to God.  I am nothing to the People of God if God is nothing to me.

It’s unfortunate that I needed this reminder to pray, but a blessing that it came in such a humorous and memorable way.  I can only hope the lesson stays with me.

How do you keep yourself in the habit of prayer?  Do you have a daily routine?  Are you the spontaneous type that seeks inspiration within the mundane?  Maybe you try to balance the two?

Regardless of how we find ourselves seeking and being found by the Living God, may our prayer be a constant source of grace and inspiration for our ministry.

 Rising very early before dawn, Jesus left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed – Mark 1:35

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