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Why Do We Tend Towards Laziness?
It is 9:00 a.m. and I just woke up. I guess I'm more jetlagged than I thought from being in Saskatchewan since Thursday.

And so I'm not going to do my typical morning routine. I let myself sleep in, and we're going to get started late, and I'm not going to apologize at all. Honestly. I don't feel one bit guilty. Really. Believe me yet?

It's a law of thermodynamics or something that "an object in motion tends to stay in motion". I remember learning that in school. But I don't think they're right when it comes to human beings. The pull is not to keep us in motion; the pull is to get us to sit on our butts. Let me explain.

It seems to me that the biggest challenge I have had of my entire life is trying to choose what I know is good for me. I'm not talking in the moral area, although that certainly is an issue. I mean in the general lifestyle area. We all know we should eat a healthy breakfast, but do I do it? We all know life works better with schedules, but do I stick to mine? We all know we should exercise regularly, but do we?

But it's not just that we know these things. It's also that they objectively make us feel better. After I exercise, for instance, I feel so alive for the rest of the day. I'm happier. I'm more confident. When I eat properly, I feel better. I'm less lethargic. I have more energy. When I do my devotions early in the day I have a spring in my step. I feel more peaceful.

There really isn't a downside to these things.

So why are they so hard to do?

So many mornings I sit here, at the computer, telling myself to get off and go exercise. I know I'll feel better when I'm done. I know it will put my day on a better footing. But do I? (Well, lately I do, because I'm getting better, but what amazes me is that even though I'm getting better, it's still a big struggle.)

While I was hanging out in the hotel room this weekend between speaking engagements I watched a lot of television (and knit a lot!). I tried to watch CSI, but that's just too gross for me. So I stuck to the Home and Garden channel and the Food Channel. I felt very ripped off because What Not to Wear was not on at all during my entire hotel stay, but there's little I can do about it now. But some of the British shows were interesting.

Two in particular followed two women with horrible lifestyle habits. They were tremendously obese, and to call what they ate "food" would be an insult to actual food. They smoked and didn't exercise. And over the course of a few months they were to radically change.

It is hard to break habits, even habits you know are bad for you. I have never smoked, but I imagine that quitting is agonizing. And here's the truth about all of these things: no matter how good it feels to do it, our bodies naturally want to take the easy way out. We tend to rebel against what we "should" do, even if what we "should" do makes us feel tremendous.

Isn't that silly? I guess it's one of the consequences of sin in this world. After all, it does make sense from a spiritual point of view. Our bodies are in rebellion against the perfect state in which we were created. And I don't think this only affects our moral decisions. I think it affects everything. It's why it's so hard to do the right thing even in our daily routines.

But I want to put a stop to that. I have realized this year that I need to do what gives me energy, and sitting in front of a computer screen, or eating ice cream for breakfast, doesn't cut it. I wish I could bottle up the feeling I get after I exercise, or after I cook a healthy meal, so that I could remind myself how good it would feel to "just do it", but I can't. I'm going to have to develop mental discipline instead, with God's help.

I do believe it helps, though, to remember that our bodies are always in rebellion. So we shouldn't really use them as a good guide. Of course they're tired and don't want to go for a jog; that doesn't mean you shouldn't. Of course you crave a Diet Pepsi; that doesn't mean you should give in to that aspartame. We don't have to listen to our bodies. We can rise above them.

Starting tomorrow. :)

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At 9:54 AM , Blogger Nancy said…

Amen from me who is sitting at my computer at 10:00 a.m. when school should start at 9:00. I can always find a good excuse, too. We have had a very stressful weekend with late nights. Mondays are always hectic days around here with extra curricular activities. It feels good to sleep in. ;)


At 10:48 AM , Blogger LauraLee Shaw said…

you posted my inner dialogue, girl! I'm with you...tomorrow. :D


At 11:13 AM , Anonymous Timmy Boyle said…

I had a very insightful comment to contribute, but it would've taken too long to write...and I have to go twiddle my thumbs.


At 11:33 AM , Blogger Courtney said…

You could have just called me on the phone if you wanted to talk directly to me :)

I understand this post way more than I would like to admit. i think part of my problem is having a toddler than demands so much attention that when I do get a free moment, I have no desire at all to do anything beneficial to myself. I just want to sit and enjoy the peace and silence.

Maybe we can all try to break these habits. As you said...tomorrow.


At 2:14 PM , Blogger Julie Anne said…

getting up from my couch right now (or at least soon) to do the Wii fit!!! :)
thanks for the kick in the pants


At 11:49 AM , Blogger Tessa said…

I'm a little late with my comment but I just read this right now. I can totally relate but one thing that keeps me going is a lot of positive self-talk. What I mean is that my kitchen is a mess right now and I'm sitting on the computer. The first thought in my head "I really should clean my kitchen." Then I take that thought and change it to "I really WANT to clean my kitchen. Because I'm going to feel good about it afterwards, and then my kitchen will look great for when my husband comes in for breakfast. He'll tell me I did a good job and then I'll feel even better about it!" Then I take a moment to imagine it clean and the feeling that gives me..... now I'm off to clean my kitchen :)

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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