Helping People to Meet God • Make Friends • Grow in Faith

Spiritual exercise

A while ago I went to catch the Number 27 bus. I thought I had still some time, but as I got to Harewood Road,
I saw the bus approaching in the distance. I realised I needed to get to the bus stop fast, so broke into a fast jog to get there. As I started running, I thought: “Yes, some people are right. Catching the bus is not easy. Now I even have to run.” I got to the bus stop in time and as I boarded the bus, I realised that I felt a more alive. That little bit of running had gotten my body pumping and lifted my whole mood. Maybe I need to do a little bit of running more often, even if it’s strange to see a grown man run along the street in everyday clothes (even more so if he were to wear a clerical collar).

I know that I can’t generalise my own experience. Not everyone can run, and not everyone feels better after a bit of running. But maybe I can draw a spiritual analogy. At times life with Jesus may be not that easy. It may even require a bit of exercise from us, whether that is prayer, reading the Bible, going to church, helping others, or modifying our behaviour. Sometimes that may feel like a bit of a task. Would it not be easier to just live the easy life? But this “spiritual exercise” can also make us so much more alive. It can give us a boost for our day. It can give us new strength, vision and purpose.

Some people, for example, may see time set aside in prayer as somewhat strange.
Why would rational humans be quiet and talk to someone they can’t see? But for Christian life prayer is essential. Prayer connects us to God. The benefits we get from prayer help us in our life, can give us a clearer vision and make us ready to face what comes. That applies even to emergency prayer, when we are suddenly in circumstances that bring us to prayer.
Then prayer may not only enable to deal with the situation at hand, but enliven us more