I am fortunate in that I am still able to work out with my trainers through Skype in my home—because I can’t go the Livonia Rec Center now to use the equipment, or to swim or walk the indoor track—or recover in the hot tub after any workout. I really miss it; and my trainers have had to get creative to give me good cardio workouts in my living room and at my weight level while respecting my aging joints and physical abilities.
We have been told that one of the ways to combat corona depression and lockdown is to get moving physically—and my sessions with my trainers (Nick and Emily) have helped a lot with my mental outlook and attitude. (I am so blessed!) Another great thing that helps us in our mind set is obvious to us: prayer! (I like to work in our yard and garden while praying sometimes—another physical outlet for any frustration or fear I may be feeling).
What does this have to do with the Scripture for today as we celebrate the Solemnity of Pentecost: the birth of our universal Church and us having been given all we need to work our missions here on earth? St. Paul reminds us today of all gifts and talents bestowed on us by the Holy Spirit—and all those talents that can be used and shared (thank you skype and zoom) in the midst of Covid 19. God is good! And maybe you have even surprised yourself with what you have managed through all this—or have gained a real appreciation for the action and work of others in your life whom you may dearly miss now (like your kid’s teachers). We should be grateful even now—and recognize God working through all for good. This is also a gift from God: to open our eyes to the work and commitment of people we may not think about much or often in our pre-pandemic days…
One can receive a gift and then fail to use it. For all practical purposes you can be given the gift of a tractor and yet never plow a field. The power was there to do so—but it lay fallow and unworked. We know that some Christians do not bear fruit… The Sequence for Pentecost says it all about those gifts of the Holy Spirit: praying for them and using them, what we are given and what we may accomplish with them. And Jesus tells us today that living in the Spirit will bring us peace. So today I recommend that you consider the Holy Spirit to be your spiritual trainer—maybe while you work out, or take a walk or garden or rest, or clean, or just be. You will yield the fruits of the Spirit—in yourself and for others.
Personal physical trainers are great because they hold us accountable, they encourage us, and they provide a daily regimen to follow. Spiritual fitness should be a top priority for all of us, too—we must ask ourselves the hard questions, seek the answers in prayer, study/reading of worthy material, reconciliation, and conversation with other “seekers” of truth.
The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Who couldn’t use more of that? Or “workout” to utilize these fruits for a better life for all? These fruits are the “measuring tape” or “scale” of the Spirit’s gifts in our lives—and it’s not always about what exactly you do—but your manner and attitude in how you do them. We have all received the gifts of the Holy Spirit; so let us live in ways that the Spirit’s fruits in us are obvious to all others. This is the challenge and the mission. My prayer as I work out or garden or walk or cook or clean or rest will be that I will be a truly Spirit-filled Christian to all people in with whom it is safe (for now) to be near.
Keep singing in your hearts always!