Build yourself up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. (Jude 20)

ONE OF THE THINGS I disliked most about elementary school and high school was gym class. I remember how I had to do push-ups and chin-ups as part of the President’s Plan for Physical Fitness. My time for the required lap around the track was pathetic but enough to pass gym. “Advancing” to sports didn’t give me anything to cheer about. Despite shin guards, my legs took a beating in field hockey. More than one finger got jammed playing volleyball. And the pitchers who seemed to be aiming at me rather than the plate quickly took the “fun” out of that game.

Honestly, back then I saw little value in physical fitness. Even as an adult, I’ve never been a jogger or joined a gym. The exercise bike we purchased so I could hopefully lose weight was used more as a clothes hanger.

Now that I’m older and, I trust, wiser, I’d like to go back and make changes in my lifestyle. Arthritic knees make it difficult to even walk around the block much less engage in any physical activity other than swimming. I regret the opportunities I’ve missed to take care of my physical body.

It’s a sobering lesson and one that is even more serious when it comes to building my spiritual life. I cannot allow my faith muscles to grow flabby and weak from lack of exercise.

Create or add to your spiritual fitness plan. Commit to follow it for a week.

Marlene Bagnull celebrated fifty-one years of marriage. She and Paul have three grown children and three grandchildren. She directs two Christian writers’ conferences.