Originally published Friday, 04 May 2018.
When we relocated to California, I joined the gym. This might have been because I was bored, homesick or going crazy with all of the adjustments. My husband came home with this offer from one of his co-workers and thought it would be good for me. Also, it was an excellent deal, monetarily speaking, so I bit the bullet and joined. I don't believe in wasting money (paying for something and never using it), so once I joined the gym, I created time in my schedule to go to the gym.
There are many participants at the gym, but two types stand out. There's a fellow that has been a member as long as I have - he is on the larger side; after all these years he remains on the larger side. Recently within the past six months, there was a lady who was also on the larger side who worked out with an intensity I rarely saw.
She got on the treadmill, set it to 6.0 which is a 10-minute mile and ran for an hour. She would stop if she needed to and then start again. She ran hard, and sweat flew. Every time I went to the gym, she was working out with this intensity. Within a month or so I started to notice a change in her body, she was getting leaner. Her stomach shrank, her arms became more defined, and her legs got smaller. It was as if her body was changing right before my eyes. Within a six month time-frame, she transformed from being on the larger side to the lean side. I wasn't the only one that noticed; other members of the gym started to stop and talk to her, ask her questions, compliment and encourage her. It was amazing. But isn't this the point of working out?
Our Christian experience can mirror our gym membership -when we're focused and have our eyes on the prize we put in the time and effort. It's hard work, but it's the hard work we all need. We're using every muscle in our bodies, we're digging deeper into the Word, we're spending significant time praying and meditating, and as a result of this there's a change that first happens on the inside, but others notice it. We are questioned, complimented and encouraged, but we do the same for others - we share what made the difference, and we encourage. Isn't this the point?
I don't know what the man's story is but there might be a degree of frustration since he has not seen the change he has desired all these years. He may be scratching his head trying to figure out what to do next, or he may know and is just unwilling to make the change (genetics and body composition aside). Some of us know what we should be doing but refuse to exercise the self-control and discipline to see growth, so we remain babies never being able to digest solid food. (Hebrews 5:12-14)
When I'm consistent in my exercise routine, I feel better, and others notice something different about me. Similarly, when I'm consistent in the disciplines of the Christian journey, there's a noticeable change on the inside and the outside, and I can't keep it to myself. I am compelled to share and motivated to live in a Godly way because this way of living is not in vain. It brings hope, it spreads love, and it has an eternal perspective. Isn't this the point?
...Instead, train yourself to be godly. “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it. This is why we work hard and continue to struggle, for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers. 1 Timothy 4:8-10
What's the point for you?