Sometimes my husband will comment on an athlete that he knows, usually a professional nordic skier or runner. The comment will often be along the line of, “Joe used to be fast until he gained 10 pounds. If he could lose the extra weight he could be faster.” Or, the comment may be, “Frank is just so scrawny, he really needs to do some weight-lifting to bulk up so he’ll have strength to race faster.”
Interesting, isn’t it? Two different athletes, the same goal, opposite needs.
As an average “fitness jogger” I am often very confused if I have the chance to see Joe when this comment is made. See, “Joe” is still a lean, fit and healthy athlete. Only a coach’s eye would ever think that Joe needed to lose any weight.
Ever found this to be the case in your walk with God? I have. I often hear the voice of the Holy Spirit saying, you need to lose some weight, you need to “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and … run with perseverance the race marked out…” (Hebrews 12:1) I find that I have picked up an offence, justified unforgiveness, a sinful thought or attitude and that is slowing me down, holding me back from running my race and finishing strong.
One of the workouts prescribed by my high school track coach was to have us run sprints across the football field with a large tire attached to us with ropes and belts. That tire would just drag across the grass behind us, all our effort and bodies strained forward, we could not go any faster. But when the tire was removed it felt effortless to cover the same distances in less than half the times. Many of us struggle day in and day out lugging behind us weights that we were not meant to carry. It may be time to “lose some weight” in your life, so listen to your coach and ask him to point out what may be hindering you.
What about Frank? Some of you know the race set out before you, but you feel like you just can’t finish. You are trying so hard, but your issue might not be weights pulling you down. You may just need to “hit the gym” and start bulking up your faith! For the past couple of years I have had a knee that, during about half of my runs has voiced its complaint for the activity from dull ache to sharp pains. Of course, I just ignored it. Then, one night at the gym I asked Duncan for a way to spice up my routine. I had been doing the same-old-thing for interestingly, a couple of years, and was starting to see the anti-results in my body. One of the exercises was a hamstring curl, doing one let at a time. I found out that the leg with the knee issuing grievances was significantly weaker than the other leg. See, sometimes our strengths get out of balance, and we forget to build up our weaker areas of faith. In the case of my knee, my stronger quad muscles were pulling my knee from where it should be, causing pain. The solution was simple, build up the strength to keep the knee held in place. Strong quads weren’t necessarily the problem, weak hamstrings were.
If you are finding places in your life where you might be a spiritual “Frank”, then spend time with others with lots of faith, stay in God’s Word, pray and fast, worship! Don’t let your life or walk with God become so routine that you are not sensitive to the coach telling you to do some new exercises with your faith muscles!
Seek God, Run your Race. Do what it takes to get to the finish line!