If you are a student or an office worker, do you sometimes experience your extremities becoming twitching? I think some of you may begin to feel twinges in your legs and it becomes difficult to continue in that position when you are sitting at the desk for a while. Some people may try kneeling on the chair to lessen the pain, but they cannot concentrate in that position. This could be because your lower body is very weak.
When I was studying in the university, I suffered a lot because of these symptoms and it continued to bother me even after graduation. In 2006, Pastor Chai took his sabbatical for 6 months and I was forced to become the acting Sr. Pastor. At that time I promised to the church members that I will continue to pray for 3 hours as he had done. But I was not able to fulfill that promise and many times I dozed off during the prayer time. Of course, part of the reason was that I was brand new at those duties and there were so many things to take care of. But the main reason was that I did not have the physical stamina for praying 3 hours straight. I did okay during the first hour, but after that all my body seemed to twist and it was very difficult to continue to sit.
After 6 months, I felt that I could at least mimic perform these pastoral duties, but that my health would not keep up. From that time on, I installed a treadmill in the office and started to run. After 3 to 4 years of running, I saw improvement in my health, but my stamina seemed to not get much better. Then I heard that the stamina comes from the lower body strength and I began to include lower body exercises as part of my routine.
These days, I exercise 3 to 4 days a week and when I go to the fitness center, I start with the lower body exercises. Putting weight on my shoulders, I raise and lower my heels 40 times. From sitting position, I raise my lower legs to the parallel position with my knees for 20 times, and close my lower legs 20 times. Also, I close my knees together against a force for 20 times, and open against weight 20 times. Lastly, I raise my body with weight on my shoulders from the squat position to where the knees are at 90 degrees for 20 times. Then I swim for 1,000 meters.
After I started these lower body exercises, the difficulty of sitting or concentrating for long times at my desk began to disappear and praying for 3 hours was not difficult anymore. These days, there is not any difficulty in holding the prayer position for 3 hours or longer. I feel that because my body’s improvement in health, my spirituality has improved and I pray better.
There are two groups of people. One group worships their body and exercise desperately to maintain their body. Opposite to this, the other group may not exercise at all and do not care about their body. I think neither group is healthy. Maintaining the health should not be the sole purpose, but a healthy Christian faith has to be supported bygood physical health. To overcome your weakness, do not be lazy in doing healthy exercises in order to serve Our Lord with the best of our abilities.
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