I have recently passed my 2ndFitness Markerin loosing 67lbs on the journey of loosing 100lbs by the end of December. I am now training to finishmy last 33lbs.
After reflecting on life following high school and college, my health and fitness was continually put aside.
- I would yo-yo diet
- I would try the latest gimmick
- I had even bought multiple gym memberships, which resulted in going for only a week. However, I kept the membership for at least the year, because I felt cancelling was giving up on myself
In hindsight, I was not really looking to take responsibility, which would have resulted in doing whatever was needed to honor God with how I cared for my physical health.
Then one day in August of 2018, God led me to discover CrossFit.
One reason I love CrossFit is that it gives me a vision for living life today!
The functional fitness model(being ready for anything) converts into everyday practicality- at home, work or the church.
Before entering the CrossFit box, I park my car and pray to affirm my desire
- To present all of myself to the Lord as a living sacrifice, which includes my body & soul, Romans 12:1
- To honor the Lord with a view for total biblical fitness, Mark 12:30-31.
- To train to be prepared to face the day ahead, 1 Timothy 4:6-8.
I’m preparing for the unknown and unknowable at least from my perspective.
Whether I am participating or cheering others on, the CrossFit workouts, competitions and games become a “living parable” for me in following Jesus Christ.
How does CrossFit become this “living parable?”
Mark 12:30-31, speaks to “Loving the Lord your God with all..”
- your heart, soul, and mind– I see this as my Spiritual Fitness
- your strength– I see this a my Physical Fitness
- and love your neighbor as yourself– I see this a my Community Fitness
God engages all three of these aspects of total biblical fitness in my life at the CrossFit Box.
- My inner person (thoughts, emotions, and will) is tested
- My outer person physically is tested
- My relationships in community with those around me are tested
I can then gauge my total fitness and take wise steps in training to become more prepared for each day.
Illustrating Athletic Training
The Bible gives an illustration of athletic trainingto picture the Christian Life. The apostle Paul said,
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.” (1Cor. 9:24-27)
- Athletes exercise self-control
- They run with purpose and direction
- Paul says he disciplines his body and keeps it under control
“train yourself for godliness” (1Tim. 4:7) literally exercise for Christlikeness.
- As a Christian, I need to train to be a kind of person that responds like Christ to the unknown & unknowable circumstances of life.
- Gospel transformation extends beyond my professionto seeing God’s fingerprints at work in training me to be like Jesus…today.
“forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 3:13-14)
- Every Christian is called to pursue total biblical fitness
- As part of my “pressing on,” God led me to participate in CrossFit at CrossFit Elgin, and to be connected with the ministry of FaithRXD to help me un-compartmentalize my life and pursue total biblical fitness.
I pray that God will use my story to inspire others (especially other Pastors and Leaders) to authentically un-compartmentalize their lives too.
I lived too long believing a lie: that I could sacrifice my physical fitness on the altar of caring for my family and ministry. In addition, the lie blinded me to the dynamic interrelationship of the whole person God has created me to be.
It’s been said that, “self-leadership always precedes team leadership.”
As a pastor and biblical counsellor, I set an example for others to follow after…
Did you know…
- 45% of pastors say they’ve experienced depression and/or burnout to the extent that it required them to take a leave of absence
- 50% of pastors are obese
- Clergy submit more health claims than the general population
- Obesity combined with being overweight…are the 2ndleading cause of preventable death
This was the road I chose to travel by believing the lie, and compartmentalized an area of my life. I was 300 lbs in Aug 2018, having experienced 5 years of Kidney stones, resulting in pain increased throughout my body; which impacted everyday movements and endurance to became a serious struggle.
So yes, I’m thankful for God’s personal correctionin my life to love me enough to do whatever it tookto help me experience life as He designed it to be…
- Can you imagine what it would be like, if more pastors and leaders were experiencing total biblical fitness?
- What would this kind of example model to othersabout total surrender and spiritual discipline of one’s life for Jesus?
- How would following this example of self-leadership, personal discipline, and love for God and othersimpact our families and ministries?
Vision For Living
This “vision for living”that God has used CrossFit to provide me with is this:
A Christ-like person leads by example by training to increase their preparedness to live like Jesus from the inside-out, starting with a gospel transformed heart, amongst the people in life and the unknown & unknowable circumstances of life for God’s glory!
Each day circumstances confront me and literally test the quality of my fitness in living like Jesus, I am choose how I respond to them from out of my heart, Proverbs 4:23; Luke 6:45.
Then, with the Spirit of God’s help, I can adjust my training to mature through preparation for Christlikeness, Romans 8:29; Philippians 2:12.
God indeed completes the work he begun in me, Philippians 1:6.
Two questions I leave you with:
- Are you compartmentalizing areas of your life and believing a lie?
- Are you training to increasingly be prepared to deal with whatever comes at you in a Christlike manner from the inside out?
We don’t try to be like Christ,
We train to be like Christ!
This is the 3rd Blog in the series #HackingWeightLoss, “A Pastors Journey In Physical Fitness.” To read the previous blog in the series, click here.