It’s been about three weeks of me consistently getting into the gym (and by consistently, I mean 2-3 times a week – baby steps people!) and I guess you could say I feel good about it. In all honestly, talking about fitness still makes me feel a little awkward and even more self-conscious than I normally do. I’m still working to get to the root of that because at the core of it – why should talking about something that is good feel so weird?
The work of nourishing and pushing our bodies isn’t just healthy – it’s holy. This work of pushing beyond our limits and nudging our bodies to do more than they’re accustomed to is hard and holy work. While we’ve given our lives to our Creator, we tend to do a terrible job of actually tending to His creation. From the environment to our bodies, we’ve proven ourselves as not being the best caretakers.
But this year, I’m doing my best to change this – at least in my own life.
I think this idea of viewing exercise and fitness as holy work comes from a few things I’ve had on my mind lately. It’s human nature to shy away from hard things. If it’s not fun or exciting or easy, odds are we just don’t want to do it. But so often, it’s in these hard moments that we can choose to start seeing it as an opportunity to lean in to God. An opportunity for worship, even.
There have been several moments in the midst of my training sessions where everything just starts to feel awful. I’m a sweaty mess, my once in-shape body is screaming at me to stop torturing it, and I’m certain that my trainer is out to get me (kidding obviously- he’s actually very nice!). It’s there, when we comes to the end of ourselves that the Lord does beautiful work. Because where we’re lacking, God isn’t. Where we aren’t strong enough, God is. And while it may seems silly to draw a connection between faith and fitness, the simple truth is that any circumstance that requires more strength than what we feel we possess is space for God to move.
A lot of my own issues with health and fitness, I think, stem from this nagging voice in my head that tries to tell me that I can’t do something. That I’m not strong enough to create, much less maintain, new habits. It’s consistently led me to the mistaken belief that I will fail before ever truly attempting. Battling the lies that have plagued us for years is hard work, friends, it is. But recently I heard something in a podcast that hasn’t left my head either. And it’s so good.
In Lara Casey’s Cultivate What Matters podcast (the episode titled, “She Believed She Couldn’t”), Lara speaks about her initial experience with her personal trainer in a early session. She shared about how everything in her body was screaming out that she couldn’t do what her trainer was having her do but then her trainer Ray looked her in the eye and simply said, “Decide. You. Can.”
Decide you can.
What a concept, friends. How many things in our lives would change in the light of those three words?
It seems simple. Three little words. But absolutely massive when you think of the implications. We decide that we actually can do the things that we think we can’t and then when things naturally get hard and difficult…ask God to step into the ring. Ask Him to fill in the gaps. Ask Him to provide the strength when ours runs out. Ask Him to pour out and overflow in the dry areas of our lives.
This road is hard, friends. But it is holy and so, so good.