Survival Of The Kindest
Survival of the fittest. Fitness is about surviving! If you want to survive middle school, you have to fit into the status quo or live like a leper on the outskirts of the popular kids. If you want to survive adulthood, you have to train yourself in school or a workplace to fit into a job that pays. If you want to survive parenting, you have to be fit to care for the physical and emotional needs of another human being. If you want to survive old age, you have to adapt to the new aches and pains of each morning and stay positive.
If fitness is about adapting to ones environment or season of life, survival of the fittest, then what or who are we trying to be fit? If it's for America, it's being fit for Instagram and beach body. It's for the boyfriend or to make the other girls jealous. It's to fit into our clothes or have energy for the day. It's to keep up with our kids or lose weight to reduce the chronic pain.
Train to Serve
If we are only trying to survive the day, our view is too short. Even the disciples who argued about who would be the greatest in heaven were thinking ahead. Jesus' answer astounded them and still surprises me: "The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted" (Matthew 23:11-12). If we want to be fit for heaven, we must die to ourselves and serve others instead of stepping on one another to survive. Christ already made us fit by humbling Himself on the cross, so my response is not to make myself as big (or small) as I can in the gym, but to train for strength and energy to serve others to the best of my God-given abilities.
I want to show my toddler that working out is part of my life, so I will exercise and go on walks with her. I want to have enough energy to make dinner for my husband when he comes home each evening, so I go to bed early and workout instead of nap during the day because it energizes me more. If working out and being fit is not about self-preservation and instead about serving others, my motivation is deeper and longer-lasting than any 21 day diet or fitness program. When the world focuses on "crushing it" or crushing others to survive, Christ raises kindness as the higher priority.
Reflect and Respond
- Think about who you serve throughout the day. How can you get more fit to serve them better?
- If you are lacking in motivation, ask the Lord for help. He loves serving and encouraging us!