Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Endorphins, Efficacy, and Evangelism

Exercise amazes me. It really is a balm for the soul and an outlet for all things unholy. Anger, passion, overdrive, anxiety, and fear all melt away as the endorphins release and peace settles in. Lately I have not been exercising as much as I should (indeed very little at all). However this time of reclaiming me, I have found that I am happy to reclaim exercise. May I just share with you my favorite work out space. I can visit any YMCA in the greater Seattle area and work out, for less than I would pay at a gym, and I am supporting one of my favorite not-for-profits. I take a quick five block jaunt down the street from work, I exercise, I jaunt back to my car and TADA! I am calm, happy, and energized little girl. I adore running (or gliding is generally more accurate) and reading my Vanity Fair or my newest collection of short stories by Matthew Volmer at the same time. Just thinking about it makes me settle down.

Last night as my little feet were gliding away and sweat was poring down my back, I was reading about Bernie Madoff's sons and how they are dealing with the tragedy that has struck their family in the form of their father's horrid display of human indecency. I was sad to be reading the article in the first place, mostly because it was just gossip mongering (and a generally lower form of it than I would expect from my dear Vanity Fair), but also because so many people are so angry about this whole scam, and rightfully so? Maybe. I don't know. I am troubled that there are people throwing punches, curse words and threats over the million dollars they just lost. I understand that is a formidable amount of money, but do they not see that running for sympathy to people who will not make that much money in the whole of their lives is ridiculous? I am sadder for the sons who are taking the blame for their father's crime, than I am for the employees and investors kicking and screaming because they have to sell their yacht and pull their children out of the 40K/yr private schools they attend. Maybe that is a little harsh, maybe I just think it is ridiculous that there are that many people with that much money in this world, and still we cannot seem to feed the starving in our own country let alone those in remainder of the world. It is entirely possible (and perhaps more likely) that this feeling has spawned from the many musings rolling around in my head lately. - so that long tangent is to get to the point of efficacy.

I adore efficacy. Sometimes I forget my fondness for abstinence and the way that it feeds my soul. This can be evidenced in my love for Lent. I relate efficacy and abstinence for some reason. Maybe because keeping thing simple is the easiest way to keep things efficient. I am not sure. In my recent journey to discover how to not base my relationship with Christ and the Church on sin, I have in many instances given up my love for abstinence and obedience to delve into experiences and moments that are not driven by my fear of sin. As I am learning (and daily practicing) my new skill set, which allows me to live with Jesus outside of and irregardless of sin, I am finding that I can practice many forms of efficacy (abstinence, simplicity, obedience, monasticism, etc) because of the pure pleasure it brings to my soul, and not because I think it will make me a better Christian, or less of a sinner, or whatever other guilt-bound reasoning I have previously used to explain why these practices were so endearing to me. I do not know why I love efficacy, but I do know that there is nothing which can help me more to realize Christ in my daily life.

Listling of my efficacy as of late:
1. I have not eaten out (save father's day) in two weeks. at all... not even for coffee.
2. Gym. hmmm...
3. reading me some N.T. Wright before bed, followed by a fairy tale from this book
4. No make up (this is due as much to my recent bout of pink eye as it is to efficacy but has been refreshing nonetheless)

It is amazing how balanced I feel in these practices of efficacy. I know I am saving copious amounts of money by not eating out. I know that I am gaining peace by working out. I know that I am feeding my brain health food, rather than the fast food I generally indulge in. And every day I have gone sans make up I have received so many compliments (IE. Your skin looks great!, Well, you look radiant today., Did you do something different? You look so fresh and young. ) Still, again, the best part about all of this is knowing that it has nothing to do with the fact that I am avoiding guilt and sin in these practices. I am practicing them because I am feeding my soul and for this reason I am proud of myself. For this reason I think I may have found my sermon topic. For this reason, I have once again found my love of evangelism (by evangelism, I mean protestantism... I still see evangelism as necessary practice, but one in which I will not participate unless specifically told to do so by Jesus).

The return of my love for evangelism has come with the remembrance that it does in fact feed my soul to be both protestant and catholic. I have chosen this not because it is a calling (although it may be), not because I am avoiding sin (although I may be :P ), not because I want to teach you something (although I do), but because it feeds my soul. Rest. I am who I am.

To your rest: May it be healthy and peaceful,


P.S. My next post may be about affirmation, falling in love, Alaska, or it may be about something altogether new and different!

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