Maintaining routine key to one’s health

by Leonard Lauriault

My life has been somewhat pleasantly disheveled recently. Some of the things I do regularly – almost daily – got pushed aside for more pressing activities including the arrival of my grandson and courtship and marriage, and all the accompanying adjustments.

Getting back on track is tough. In fact, getting back into the swing of regular exercise alone will include a recovery period. Adjustments and recovery are a normal part of life changes, but I think I made it harder on myself in this case. I didn’t give up my exercise regime completely – only for two two-week periods over an eight-week timeframe starting before Christmas.

Skipping workouts during Christmas wasn’t so bad. I even wondered why I’d previously resolved to maintain my regular schedule during holidays and vacations whenever possible. Getting back on track after the second two-week period has been tough. I didn’t think it’d be so bad because restarting after the first break seemed easy, but now I remember why I’d made that resolution to maintain my workout schedule.

Two things in my routine I didn’t take a break from were regular Bible study and church attendance. Of course, I know physical exercise doesn’t fall into the same class with those, but my body is disagreeing. The spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is definitely more indeed weak (Matthew 26: 41).

When we start slacking off on things like regular Bible study or church attendance, it might be easy to restart after the first time or two, but it’ll likely become easier to delay getting back on track. The breaks in any routine need to be kept just that: breaks in the routine rather than becoming the routine itself (Hebrews 10: 25).

I knew if I didn’t restart my physical exercise regime, it’d be very noticeable almost immediately (my doctor’s records already prove the change in weight). I knew just as well if I stopped my spiritual exercise program, it might be a long time before anyone else would notice, but I’d know, and recovery would be nearly impossible by the time others noticed.

Maintaining regularity is critical in many more cases than digestion and metabolism. We have the perfect example of regularity – “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13: 8).” We’re to follow his example in maintaining a consistency in our life and doctrine that will take us to heaven (1 Peter 1: 15, 16; 1 Corinthians 11: 1; 2 Timothy 3: 10-17; 2: 15).

I thought I could lay down my regular exercise and pick it back up with no repercussions. Laying it down was no problem; getting back on track again has been mildly devastating. I’ll recover, but I don’t like the process.

So, maybe I’ll remember to minimize the breaks in the future. Nonetheless, I’m currently in the midst of another break in my exercise routine. My body may never forgive me. I’m glad God does (Acts 2: 38, 39; 1 John 1: 5-9)!