Working out is one of my favorite pastimes. I enjoy the challenge of pushing myself and the feeling of complete exhaustion and utter satisfaction when finished.
Yesterday’s workout was one of those grueling workouts where you think to yourself you kind of wish you would pass out so you didn’t have to finish. Plus there were burpees….burpees are my workout nemesis. Burpees in small amounts I can handle, but you start getting up into the hundreds amount, and I ALWAYS struggle.
The struggle first starts in my head…”I’ll just not do them all…I really should listen to my body and just stop…” Then the struggle goes physical and my legs start screaming and my stomach begins to feel like I need to start looking for a trash can.
Its crazy. I could do the same workout with similar moves for a longer amount of time and not have any trouble. But throw in those burpees, and I start to break down.
So back to yesterdays workout….120 Burpees thrown at the end of a grueling workout. I truly didn’t want to finish. I mean I had already done a pretty intense 40 minute workout; it wouldn’t be too bad if I just left out the burpees. But then my workout buddy stepped up next to me, and we started to do them together. We got in this rythmn and just kept going until we finished.
What seemed impossible just moments earlier was now an accomplishment. And the accomplishment was due to a sidekick; someone to step up next to me and take my mind off myself and push me to reach a goal.
I so often think of all the workout analagies that Paul uses throughout the Bible when I’m in the midst of one of these intense workouts.
Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.
let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
The workouts are hard, I have to push myself to keep going, and most often I need a friend working out next to me in order for me to accomplish all I need to at that moment. The same is true for our walk with the Lord. We have to decide we want to pursue Christ, push ourselves to keep pursuing Him, and allow our friends around us to keep us going when life gets tough.
Its so easy to be content where we are spiritually. Oftentimes, we fail to realize how much more God has to offer to us if we would just learn to walk with Him continually. But it takes dedication and discipline to focus our hearts and minds on God continually. You have to push yourself to get out of bed, to shut off the TV, to put Christ first when life seems to scream distractions at you. And most often, if you have a friend pushing toward Christ with you, you will keep walking forward and wouldn’t even think about standing still in your relationship with Christ.
That’s one of the reason I wrote this Bible study for the women at our church. I want us to join together, to discipline our hearts and minds, to chase hard after God, to learn to walk in His presence continually, and to do it in a group of women who will push us forward even when our minds and bodies want to quit.
So this summer, the women of Westwind are breaking up into small groups, meeting all over the city of Des Moines, and truly pushing into Christ as they intentionally add some spiritual disciplines in their life. We are purposefully putting ourselves into a position where we can meet God, seek Him continually, and be changed by Him.
And we invite you to join us.
Just think what God could do in us and through us as we join together across the states and seek God.
What do you say? You in?
“The Summer 7: in Pursuit of His Presence”