35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
I’ve completed my first week of Cross Fit. Three years ago I had my hip replaced. After completing rehab, I stayed. Three times weekly I visited the gym, utilizing all the weight machines and performing floor exercises and stretches. I thought I was in pretty good shape. Until this week.
My instructors have been men half my age who were unmoved by my pleas for mercy. “Remember I am older than your mother…” They laughed but were unrelenting.
The general premise of Cross Fit is functional fitness. In other words, they say not specializing is their specialty. Participating will not develop skills for a specific sport but is aimed at overall fitness. Many of the moves are replicas of activities of daily life. Well…life as is was meant to be. If I lived on a farm a hundred years ago, I would be lifting, tugging, running, jumping, and sweating. Not so much today sitting at my computer.
Concurrently, I am leading a women’s study on the book of Hebrews. The included verse from the KJV says you have need of “patience” but is translated by several other versions as “endurance.” I haven’t jumped rope in over fifty years and the concept of needing endurance presented itself to me after fifteen jumps.
This verse also leads to a promise. By investing into exercise, endurance is the intended by-product. Yet, after three years of weight lifting and gym work-outs I huffed and puffed like an old lawn mower about to run out of fuel.
My study in Hebrews includes a verse from chapter two admonishing us to not neglect so great a salvation afforded us by the Lord. I am lazy in Bible study, prayer, ministry, and faith. I do what I have to do to put in a good effort and most of the times I’m pretty satisfied with myself. I invest much more effort into my Christian walk than I do at the gym but I see a scary parallel.
I spend time studying about prayer, ministry, faith, and teach the Bible every week as I have for over thirty years. But if I don’t stretch myself by actually doing ministry, really loving, seriously exercising faith, and being a living Bible to a lost world, I can end up sore, out of breath, and ill prepared when real life sets in.
I can be satisfied studying about things of God just like I am satisfied with my gym performance. It takes something like a spiritual version of Cross Fit to show me how truly inadequate I am for the job.
Yup. I’m pretty sore in places I’ve forgotten I have. But I’m not giving up. The discomfort is a reminder there is a promise. I’ll remember that as life makes me sore.