White Noise

Question. Do you sleep because you get to, or because you have to? Both? Reason I ask is because I recently downloaded a white noise app to help me at night. I'm hoping it helps me sleep, but I don't want it to distract my wife. I'll come back to that.

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"I wanna run," I said to Letta while she was getting ready for work this morning. Her positive, grateful-laced reply came as quickly as you can say go: "Yeah...you can't...but you can walk fast!"

This is where I nodded my head and forced the corners of my mouth downward in a sort of agreeable frown. "True...(nod)...true."

Some people will tell you that they train because they "get to." They see it as favor, a blessing, something to enjoy, a means to give back to God and celebrate life and limbs and ability. And that's awesome. Lord knows I've written a few entries on the subject over the years and I built a platform on any measure of health being a gift.

And yet there are others who train because they "have to." They see it as obedience, an honor and high responsibility. Much like they would manage their money, they see exercise as temporary physical stewardship. They don't love it, but they love Him, so they take care of themselves. Obedience, after all, doesn't have to be fun. For that reason, I could argue that they are the ones truly making a sacrifice of praise.

But here's the skinny. The problem is in our hearts. We sin when we get off track by feeling self-righteous for being in either camp. Fact is, if you get to, it's only because in God's sovereignty you have to. And if you have to, it's only by God's grace that you get to. (Try saying that five times really fast.) 

Anyway, this morning as I watched the onslaught of Black Friday deals and the stampedes at the corner store, I decided to hit the gym to work back. Looking down at the pitiful light weight on the row machine, I had a flashback toward my days when I used to row 200 lb. dumbbells with rhythmic regularity. Today I have a 40 lb. limit for both hands combined. 

I got to thinking. I would love to be strong again, but I make a conscious choice to stay weak. I would love to run, but I reluctantly choose to walk fast. What camp am I in? I get to train within my limits and I have to train to reach them.

- Jimmy Peña

ANSWER: It doesn't matter, but I probably have a pillow in both camps. Regardless, the outcome of my decision is a filthy rag. Like the awful, fuzzy sounds coming out my phone at night, our promotion of our purpose can often be one giant distraction. Like white noise, it's there, but we don't always need others to hear it. Aren't we glad God sees the heart?