“Engage those abs. That’s how you build core strength.”
Jane Fonda, my new exercise friend encouraged me from the CD. I’ve paid attention to core strength off and on for years. Mostly “on” after I twisted or strained my back and couldn’t walk without looking like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Usually “off” after I planked, stretched and rested my back into feeling normal again.
Why is a firm core so important anyway? I googled it and discovered what I’d forgotten from high school health class. The core, those muscles surrounding the spine, hips and abdomen, stabilize the spine. More importantly, they transfer energy from large to small body parts so one can walk, run or play sports. Translation…at my age, they’re necessary for being able to walk upright and endure activity without injury.
I’m all in favor of avoiding injury. On top of that, I could look like one of those 6-pack, primed-for-belly-dancing 21 year-olds. I could … or maybe I could just shoot for a 12-pack and see where it goes from there.
“Engage those abs. Make like you’re ready to take a punch to the stomach,” Jane declared. That’s when I realized I engaged the abs, but endured only a soft tap without doubling over. To fight flabbiness, the core needed work.
The same principle applies to my spiritual core. That central part of my self where God’s Spirit resides. I notice it sporting a few flabby “love handles,” so I make another New Year’s resolution … to strengthen my spiritual core by working spiritual muscles. How? I resolve to…
- Face everyday tasks, demands or struggles armed with His guidance.
- Read my Bible daily but also take time to study the meaning in each story or command.
- Then, be still. At least once a day for 30 minutes.
- And listen. For the truth. What is the Spirit saying to me through the Word? How does the Scripture apply to my circumstances?
- Lastly, put the message into action. Do it.
My goal is to be better prepared. To “engage those abs,” walk upright and be strong enough to withstand whatever flaming arrows life throws at me. How do you strengthen your spiritual core? Other ideas?
Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,..In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” (Ephesians 6:14, 16; NIV)