The past year has been challenging to say the least. I had a steady stream of Winter colds interspersed with a rash of injuries. Exercise was minimal and my love of food got the better of me. I gained a lot of weight and was left feeling uncomfortable, unhealthy and fatigued. My health and fitness suffered in more ways than one.
When most of my clothes no longer fit, and I was tired of hauling an additional 14 pounds up the rock, I decided to embark on a weight loss journey. I was very sick and unable to exercise. However, I did what I could and focused on tracking my calories and eating right. My hope was that by changing my diet and focusing on my health I could change the rhythm of relentless illnesses and injuries.
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. – 1 Corinthians 10:31
Through this journey one thing is certain, staying fit and healthy takes a lot of dedication and perseverance. If I slack on my training, I grow weaker. If I cheat consistently on my diet I put on weight. As a result, the things I love to do, such as climbing, become more difficult and less enjoyable. One thing I know for sure, life is more fun when you are fit.
“That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do—not that the nature of the thing is changed, but that our power to do is increased,” Ralph Waldo Emerson.
I was talking to a friend a few weeks ago about my devotion time and spiritual walk over the past few months. During the time I had decided to focus on my physical health and fitness, I had also felt burdened by the spiritual struggles I had been experiencing. While I hadn’t purposefully done these two things together, they suddenly seemed related. As we talked, I realized the same principles I had applied to my physical health also applied to my spiritual life. If my faith is to remain strong and healthy, I must demonstrate that same level of dedication and perseverance. If I slack in my relationship with Christ, my faith grows weaker. If I ignore God’s plan and purpose for me, the burdens of life begin to weigh me down. As a result, I feel distant from God, my joy begins to wane, and my hart feels heavy.
Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. 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.” – 1 Timothy 4:7-8 (NLT)
Each year, God provides me with a theme for our climbing season. This year I feel challenged to focus on our health and fitness, both physically and spiritually. This is not about comparing ourselves to others. We all have different limitations and restrictions. It is about being the best you, you can be. As you improve your health and fitness in both areas, you will become stronger and more available to fulfill the plans and purposes God has for you. Through this journey I hope that each of us feel renewed, refreshed, stronger, and filled with joy.
My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body – Proverbs 4:22