Most of my life I have had a great affection for the local gym. Yet, today, as I go to the cross fit gym I find myself quite fearful. I am fearful that I might not have what it takes to complete the WOD, workout of the day. I am fearful that someone might discover how weak I really am….that I might discover how weak I really am. Maybe, I should just stay home.
The gym has been a means to an end. It was a path that would lead to a ….starting position on the football team, a wrestling scholarship, a mountain summit or a first ascent of a frozen waterfall. Ultimately, it made a great contribution as to how it is that I defined myself as a man.
Those experiences, along with a bunch of others, start to raise the question…..how do I define myself as man? Big picture, how do I define myself as a person?
I would suggest that I am uniquely defined by my relationships and my experiences. It is in the context of relationships that a mirror is held in front of my face and I get to see who I am and what I am all about. In a similar sort of way, my experiences help me to see myself and who it is that I am and who it is that I am becoming.
The interesting aspect of all of this…..often, I do not like what the reflections are telling me. My reflection often tells me I am inadequate, selfish, unlovable….not ok. At those points I have often find myself running around and propping up my sagging image. I am hoping to discover that I am truly ok. Yet, all I really discover is that image management takes a lot of work.
If I take my sagging ego into the gym, I can…in theory, give it a boost. I can prop it up. But ultimately it will be an ego boost that is based upon comparison and it will be short lived.
My hope is that you will not discover that I am weak, short, bald, fat and not ok. Ultimately, it becomes easier to avoid the gym so that I might maintain the facade that is fueled by fantasy.
So what is the relationship, what is the experience that allows me to go into the gym? The experience and the relationship are wrapped around the fact that I am loved unconditionally by the God who made me.
Therefore, I go into the gym not to impress anyone. I am not working on my image and I am not trying to improve my reflection in your eyes or my eyes. I am trying to be a good steward of the gifts that I have been given.
I find my growth paradigm in Luke 2:52. Jesus grew in wisdom & stature and favor with God and man. So, today, I jump on my bicycle and ride to the gym to be a good steward of this thing called life. I have come to know that I am called to be vibrantly alive so that I might reflect His love & His grace.
What is your growth paradigm? Are you growing? Is your life becoming the hallelujah it is designed to be?