Wednesday, September 28, 2005

abs and prayer

This morning I went to the Rec Center with my roommate. We've been going 3 times a week for about 6 weeks now--it's nearly a habit. We get up at 5:45AM, get dressed, and go work out for about an hour. Then we grab some breakfast, read, pray, and get our day started. (He is doing rotations to finish his pharmacy degree.)

Each day, we finish up with 3 sets of 5 different ab exercises. He looks over at me today during one of the exercises (called the Bridge), and says, "either you are counting really slowly or I am counting really quickly." I told him that I had given up on counting (you are supposed to hold yourself in a certain position for this exercise--a bridge position--for 20-30 seconds twice per set). A couple of weeks ago I started watching the second hand on a clock in the weight room.

Then I said that I have the external clock, and an internal clock. I try to hold each bridge for thirty seconds, and at the same time, I try to recite the Lord's prayer--with pauses between statements. Both come out to about 30 seconds.

We also do an exercise called a Superman. When I do these, I hold them for 20 seconds and recite Psalm 126.

It is so cool to take time to reflect on the sacred text as we go through our day. I can't say that this is a completely original idea--I am sure many people do this, but I learned it from my brother.

I was thinking about the art of reflection and meditation a couple of summers ago when I was visiting him. He had just climbed Mount Whitney. I asked him what he thought about as he hiked. He told me that he tried to be mindful of his steps (so he didn't die), and be watchful for the other people in his party (so they didn't die), and then he tried to meditate on the Lord's prayer, and Amazing Grace as he walked. He told me Amazing Grace wasn't as cool as he would have hoped because he only really knew the first verse, but he said it was probably plenty to reflect upon.

When I heard this, I thought, "Man, my brother is a spiritual giant, and I am a total slug." But then I thought, "How cool to integrate the eternal into the everyday."

I've been thinking that maybe this is what intimacy really is. It isn't some lofty feeling, but it is including someone like God or another person, into the everyday, not just the emotional portions of the day, but into putting on socks, and doing ab workouts, and riding bikes.

Take some time to include God in your phone calls, your writing, your emails, or maybe your commute to and from work today! (and say a prayer for me while you are at it!)

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