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Motivational Gem

Fitness analogy: on what kind of foundation
are you "building your house"?

An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house-building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended family. He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. They could get by. The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end his career. When the carpenter finished his work and the builder came to inspect the house, the contractor handed the front-door key to the carpenter. "This is your house," he said, "my gift to you."What a shock! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently. Now he had to live in the home he had built none too well.

So it is with us. We build our lives in a distracted way, reacting rather than acting, willing to put up less than he best. At important points we do not give the job our best effort. Then with a shock we look at the situation we have created and find that we are now living in the house we have built. If we had realized that we would have done it differently. Think of yourself as the carpenter. Think about your house. Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Build wisely. It is the only life you will ever build. Even if you live it for only one day more, that day deserves to be lived graciously and with dignity. The plaque on the wall says, "Life is a do-it-yourself project." Who could say it more clearly? Your life today is the result of your attitudes and choices in the past. Your life tomorrow will be the result of your attitudes and the choices you make today.

It's the same with your body. If you let it go for too long, it won't serve you very well in the long run. To crudely paraphrase a verse in the Bible (no, I'm not at all religious, sorry): "Your body is a temple which you get from God; cherish your body as the temple that it is."Treat it with respect and caring. Love it as the wonderful vessel that it is. To paraphrase a popular song about "advice" (you know, the one about wearing sunscreen): You are NOT as fat as you imagine; do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

If only we could love our bodies TODAY, not at some distant time in the future when we attain that ever-elusive "fit, toned, Julia Roberts-like (or Brad Pitt-like)" body--what a gift that would be to ourselves! Think of the power that would instill in each one of us! Think of the problems that would evaporate if each of us could accept ourselves right now for who and what we are and have to offer the world!


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