Muscle tone: the resting tension in a muscle. It’s not just about buff, cut, or 6-pack abs. Tone comes from effort, preparing muscles so we are ready to respond without delay.
Sweating away the ashes
The woman arrived with Lenten ashes marking her forehead. As she sweated through her workout, the ashes smudged, diminished and finally vanished. By end of class she was washed clean. An entire Lenten journey, right there in the YMCA workout studio.
If we love with heart, soul and mind, is that enough? What about strength?
The Pharisees tested Jesus asking, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matt 22: 36-40)
Heart, soul and mind may be turned to Him, but it takes strength to love your neighbor as yourself. Mental, physical and emotional fortitude are the work of a lifetime and the attention in every day. People are hard to understand, hard to reach and sometimes, very hard to empathize with. But the Lord, insists.
May you be strong enough to face the day, and may the day itself leave you stronger for tomorrow, for the love of yourself, in the service of your neighbor, by the grace of a merciful, all powerful and unimaginably strong God.