I've begun working out at a gym. At 6:30 a.m. - four mornings a week. So far it's been good. I mean it's really cold and dark and early outside at that time of the morning ... but it's all worth it after I get there and start moving. I've already noticed a decided increase in energy the days that I work out vs. the ones I don't. When I get home at 7:30 and walk in the door to my two energy bundles who are hungry - it's not as hard to just jump into the day. I have a feeling I'm not going to want to stop after my two month membership is up.
Yesterday morning in our church history class at church we learned about monasticism's beginnings in the 4th century. I've been guilty of looking at church history as starting off well and then descending into various forms of wrong belief and practice similar to Catholic belief, (God leaving the church to herself) and then coming back to life in the Reformation. Michael Haykin argued against that black and white view of the church and reminded us that church history is messy, but God is working in the middle of it. Monasticism, although not a correct belief, preserved the Scriptures in a time of chaos as the literate and cultured Roman Empire was taken over by the Germanic tribes.
I find it very encouraging that God works in the middle of the mess. I'm not trying to honour the mess, the sin that creates confusion and causes pain in people's lives. But I am ready to honour God, who despite all of the sin and pain and confusion that we bring upon ourselves and that we deal with as we live in a fallen world, works out good for those who love Him and brings glory to the Son.