War Wounds: Training for the body and the character

Legs of a young man runningExcuse me if I groan with pain a little while I write this, you see I’m suffering from a war wound – or more specifically – an exercise injury. Over the last six months I have been actively trying to exercise more, to become healthier and loose a bit of weight (or at least fat). It’s been working. I’ve lost around 5 Kg so far and my clothes are feeling a lot looser (the dark side of loosing weight is that you eventually have to buy smaller clothes). Anyway, the school holidays have been particularly good. Since I only have to worry about myself, I’ve been able to walk 4 Km from home to the office every day.

Yesterday, I was on my way to work. I was alternating periods of walking with periods of running. I was proceeding along the board walk next to the river making brilliant time. My legs were getting tired but my will pushed firmly on. Unfortunately, my leg muscles decided not to obey the orders they were receiving from my brain, and I fell over, crashing to the hard wooden floor beneath me.

Fortunately, I only received a few bumps and bruises, and a slightly grazed knee. I guess I need to be a little more careful.

Now I may have pushed things a little hard, but it is important that I challenge myself physically. Let’s face it: I’m a geek. I spend my work time writing software, and my space time (as if a parent has any) writing fiction. Most of my day is spent sitting on my backside. But this experience got me thinking – do I devote as much grit and determination to the training of my character and my spirit as I do lately to my body? Am I willing to risk getting a ‘war wound’ in the pursuit of a more Godly character?

In this world we are tempted to think that it is the outside that matters, but this is rarely the case. 1 Samuel 16:7 tells us that “People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” As people we don’t devote nearly as much as we should to the inside. We read in 1 Timothy 4:8 that “physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”

Now I’m not saying we shouldn’t exercise. In a world where obesity is becoming an increasing problem, I need to set a better example to my kids than I have in the past, but let’s not neglect the training of our character and our spirit – which are even more important.

Photo credit: Running feet image by cienpies.

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About Adam David Collings

Adam Collings is a writer of speculative fiction who works as a software engineer during the day. He lives in Tasmania, Australia with his wife and two children. Adam is currently working on a science fiction novel.
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