Richard sat on his couch flipping channels.  He stopped on the shopping channel and watched the man pitch the latest fitness machine.  He glanced down at his belly and remembered his 41st birthday he had just celebrated last week.  Yup, those 41 years were beginning to show.  He sighed and continued to watch the ultra fit guy with less than 10% body fat make his sales pitch. 

Richard thought with disgust about all the exercise gadgets he had bought over the years and now they just collected dust in the basement.  He had a massive collection of fitness books sitting in boxes in the garage too.  He kept all his fitness equipment because he believed they worked as well as the infomercials on TV proclaimed.  When he went down to the basement  for some tools he always looked with pride on his collection of fitness gadgets, someday he would use them.  He had always wanted to be fit, but fitness seemed to always elude him.  There was always something else to do.  Work, his favorite shows, taking a nap, the donut shop on the way to work, the extra-large-extra-cheese-extra- sausage pizzas.  Those were for him, his wife and the kids shared the other extra large only cheese pizza; the kids were picky eaters and his wife didn’t like sausage. 

Richard continued to watch the ultra fit man with less than 10 percent body fat.  He did want that, he did.  He was tired of looking like a donut from the coffee shop he stopped at every morning on the way to work. He was tired of not being able to keep up with his kids and sitting in his favorite spot on the couch instead.   He glanced at his watch.  10pm.  Yes, it was late, but he was determined.  He would have it and it would elude him no longer!  He clicked the ‘off button’, stood up and grabbed the keys to the car.  He would go to the store and get some running shoes, lucky for him it was “Midnight Madness” shopping night.  By the time he arrived home  he had purchased new running shoes, a membership at the gym a mile down the road, a blender for protein shakes and some healthy fruits and veggies.  He was on fire, determined to acheive a six-pack and rid himself of a donut belly. 

Five o’clock the next morning he laced up his new shoes and ran the mile down to the gym  where he had just bought a membership.  Just three houses down from his his lungs rebelled and he huffed and puffed.  He conceded and decided he would start his exercise routine with walking.  When he arrived to the gym, he felt as if he had already worked out, but he concentrated on his desire to have a six-pack and worked out with a trainer before beginning the walk home.  He walked past his favorite coffee shop just as the manager unlocked the front door.  The smell of his favorite donuts wafted through the cool morning air.  that was just opening for customers.   He almost caved, but turned his head in the opposite direction.  His eyes opened wide as he saw the man he had watched on the late night TV show running past.  If he could do it, so could Richard. 

Every morning after that Richard turned his head the other way and ran past the donut shop.  When he arrived home he took the blender out of the box and whizzed up some of the fresh fruits and protein powder.  Then he fixed a salad and put it in a cooler to take to work for lunch.  He was surprised at how good he felt, a sense of freedom from past bad habits.

Soon his morning walking turned into a run all the way to and from the gym and he began stopping at the juice bar that was next to his old haunt the coffee shop.  He hadn’t even realized it was there and he was surprised to discover that a couple of shots of wheatgrass did more for him than the donuts and coffee.  He was no longer sore from his workouts and when he got home from work he had the energy to play ball with his kids and go for a walk with his wife around the neighborhood. 

The day he admired his new six-pack in the mirror he paused to wonder what had made the difference, after all he had always wanted a six-pack and he certainly had plenty of information in the books he had and more fitness gadgets than the average person, but had never achieved the desired six-pack til now.  Then he realized that you can’t just desire something, you have to actively pursue it. 

Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.  Matthew 6:33

Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.  Psalm 37:4

As a person’s body is useless without breath, so our statements of faith are meaningless without action.  James 2:26

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