Now, I’m guessing that what I am about to write is nothing you haven’t experienced before…but a couple days ago I read a post on Facebook that bothered me. Right??? And tonight it’s still bothering me.
Here is what it said “I workout for: confidence, strength, the feeling after a workout, the feeling of accomplishment, health, my loved ones, happiness, and stress relief. I workout for ME! Working out makes me a better person, makes me a stronger person, it will help me live longer, makes me more patient, puts me in a better mood, makes me healthier, why wouldn't I do it?”
I agree with all of the above statements. Exercise is proven to boost our bodies in all of these ways. But I can’t help but feeling that something is missing from the post. Then yesterday it hit me…if we, as Christ-followers, proclaim that we live our lives for Him (not ME), and we rely on Him (not ME) daily for sustenance, then why can’t we exercise for Him (not ME) too? Why can’t we sweat with Him instead of sweating alone? If exercise and fitness is a part of your life, whether you try to squeeze in an occasional run around the block or you are training for your 17th triathlon, God can be present in those moments too.
Many people (including me) compartmentalize their lives and invite God into certain parts only. When we go to church or bible study. When we comfort a friend who is grieving. When something terrible happens in a community or our country. Well, what about the times when you are chatting it up with a grocery cashier? What about when you are mowing the yard? Girls night out? Exercising? Checking in at the gym?
Here is my challenge to you: In your next workout, don’t think about what YOU will get out of it. Ask God to be with you. To sweat with you. To teach you or to strengthen you.
Try listening to praise music with a heavy rock or electronic beat. Pull up your Bible app on the phone and listen to the Gospels or the Epistles. Pretend you are an ESPN anchor and (silently) cheer on others who may be struggling through a workout. Bring a huge bible with gold-edged pages and read it on the stationary bike at the gym. Your time spent with Him will be fruitful. He promises it.