Fitness


My quest for physical fitness began one morning when I was in high school.  I came in to my homeroom, sat down in my assigned seat next to a girl whom I had known all of my life.  She looked at me and said, "Hi, Fatty!"

She obviously saw my shocked expression because she immediately added, "It's a term of affection."

I quickly decided that I did not want to hear that term of affection any more, so I resolved to become physically fit.  I was not grossly overweight, but I had become a real 'couch potato', living a life of avoiding as much physical activity as possible.  I began to do a daily routine of sit-ups, push-ups, and other exercises so that I could avoid having anyone else call me 'Fatty'.

Years later I became a volunteer with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at our local university.  I discovered that the sponsoring coach had some interesting insight in the realm of physical fitness.  Just before graduation each Spring he would tell the graduating senior athletes that they had kept themselves at the peak of physical fitness for a variety of reasons - for their own pride, or for their parents or others, or for the thrill of victory, or to avoid the agony of defeat.  Then he mentioned that as graduates they would probably not continue to be involved in athletics, so they would probably need another motive to remain physically fit.  He suggested that the best motive was 'for the glory of God':

The Apostle Paul asked this question of the Christians in Corinth two thousand years ago:

1 Cor 6:19-20  Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit in you, whom you have of God? And you are not your own, for you are bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.
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The coach went on to say that this may be the best motive to become or maintain fitness, but then the question became 'how to put that motive into practical use'.  He proceeded to say that the titles of God as 'Father' and 'Lord' and 'Holy Spirit' are difficult to really grasp in our day and age.  So, to these athletes, he suggested that they consider our Heavenly Father as The Team Owner, our Lord Jesus as Head Coach, and the Holy Spirit as Head Trainer.  They could all relate to those titles and functions.  He went on to suggest that each person ask the Head Coach for a plan to attain and maintain the level of fitness he or she needed to accomplish the Team Owner's plans and purposes, and to ask the Head Trainer for the grace to carry out the Head Coach's fitness plan.

Even though I was not an athlete, I received that advice and asked Jesus for His plan for me to be fit for Father's service, and I asked the Holy Spirit for His help to live a life of fitness to attain Father's plan and purposes for my life.  Over the years I have gradually had God's grace and wisdom to be fit for whatever came up in life.  For example, shortly after that coach's talk to the athletes, our son began to play grade school football.  We got him a weight bench, but he never really touched it since he worked out with the team at his school.  But I began to play with his weights just in time to become fit to put new shingles on our house when the roof began to leak.  If I had not been playing with our son's weights I would not have had the physical strength to do that demanding roofing job!

Thanks be to God for His amazing grace!

Heb 13:2021  Now may the God of peace (who brought again our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant) make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well pleasing in His sight through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.