All winter, my daughter, Shae, and I used gloves when we worked out, to shield our hands from the icy metal dumbbells and bars we used in our unheated garage.
But with the arrival of the heat and humidity of summer, we had a different problem. Though we no longer needed gloves, we couldn’t maintain our grip on anything, thanks to our sweaty palms and metal equipment slick with humidity.
When doing certain exercises, we became frustrated because we simply couldn’t hold on to the apparatus.
For years, my husband has chalked his hands when working out, but I’d forgotten all about our stash of soft chalk. When he reminded me about it, I thought I would give it a try. I smoothed it across my palms and the undersides of my fingers and jumped up to the pull-up bar.
I could feel a difference immediately. I was able to focus on an exercise like pull-ups without worrying about losing my grip – and boy, did I feel dumb! For weeks, my daughter and I had been struggling with this problem, and a simple, effective solution had been close at hand. I had just forgotten about it.
Since then, chalking our hands has become a pre-workout habit. As a result, our garage floor is sprinkled with chalk dust at times, and our workout clothes always end up with chalky smudges on them. Our new habit is clearly evident, but we don’t mind at all.
I like to think that chalking one’s hands is a bit like reading one’s Bible, in that both are simple, effective, readily available means for improving one’s life. Of course, Bible reading is far more important than a little habit such as chalking one’s hands – but there is a parallel.
Christians seem to simply forget the importance of reading their Bible and praying. It’s not that they refuse to spend time with God; they just don’t make a habit of it.
And I understand that! Life is terribly busy, and its demands often push us through our days until our energy and time are drained, with not a moment left for anything but a few precious hours of rest.
That’s why it’s vital to make a habit of seeking God first, and all else afterward.
I’ve seen this principle in my own life this summer. As the weeks have flown by and my energy has been spent on all the things I feel I must accomplish before beginning another home-school year, I have found myself pushing my devotional time to later in the day at times.
And those times are never as effective as when I seek God first. As with the scattered evidence of our habitually chalky hands, when I spend time with the Lord in the early morning hours, I see the evidence of his Spirit in the way that I think and feel and speak throughout my day.
My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes. – Psalm 119:48
It’s as if the whitest, brightest Holy Spirit chalk has been sprinkled into my life.
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. – John 14:26
What are some small habits that have made big changes in your life? I’d love to hear your ideas – you always inspire me!