Out Of Shape Or Just Unfit?
I remember the first time I felt unfit. It was summertime at the neighborhood pool, and all my friends had just taken the Deep End Test. The Deep End Test told you if you could swim in the deep end of the pool for the summer, or if you were banished to the shallow end with the little kids and losers who failed. In order to pass, I had to to tread water in the middle of the pool for two minutes. Two minutes! I could brush my teeth for two minutes, so certainly I could swim for two minutes.
It turns out two minutes is a long time for physically hard feats. My family and friends still laugh at me to this day thinking about my Deep End Test every year, and now I get to laugh too. When it was time for me to go, I would swim out to the middle of the pool (HAVE YOU STARTED THE TIMER YET?!) and frantically thrash in the water for what seemed like an eternity. By the time one minute passed, you could only see my face above the water. Just my face. But mostly my nose and mouth, so I could breathe and still pass the test by “staying above water.” The rest of my body was still flailing about under the surface and running out of juice. The lifeguard calls out the time, and I sink underwater and regain my strength at the bottom of the pool to swim to the ladder. I’m fairly confident the lifeguard only timed me for a minute and forty seconds because he felt sorry for me. Either that or he didn’t feel like jumping in the pool to rescue me.
And it’s not just the Deep End Test that made me feel unfit, it was the swimming part in general. I lost every swim race, I was terrible at treading water, and I couldn’t even float on my back. Pool noodles were my friend (are my friend…I’m still a natural sinker). I decided that if I was ever stranded in the ocean, I would drop to the bottom of the sea after a minute and forty seconds. I also decided that my body is not fit for swimming. I would leave that job to the fishes.
Not Everyone Is A Marathoner
And I was right, in part. 1 Corinthians 15:40 tells me that all bodies have differing kinds of glory. Fishes’ bodies are fit for swimming, birds’ bodies are fit for flying, the sun’s body is fit for shining, my body is fit for weightlifting, or tennis, or anything other than the water. Just because I don't like to run marathons doesn't mean I'm out of shape. It may mean I have less slow-twitch fibers than my runner friends. Our bodies can learn to do amazing things, but every body is unique and excels in different movements.
In general, God made the woman and man’s body to fit each other, He made our bodies fit for taking care of the earth, fit for birthing babies. On a small scale, He made each of our bodies to be fit (or unfit) for certain things like running, swimming, climbing, dancing, building, talking, reading, singing. On a large scale, He made each of our bodies as members of a larger body, the human race, or as God would call it, the body of Christ.
Fitness is about doing what's right for your body. Fitness is knowing the Creator, living out purpose for which He made you, and embracing the body He gave you. Fitness is knowing that the foot cannot move without being connected to the leg, and the body cannot function without the head and heart. Similarly, just as we are connected to one another in one body, we are all empowered by the Christ as the head and the Spirit in our hearts.
Let's continue to explore this idea of fitness in Fit For The Body, a FREE four-week summer series with devotions, workouts, and support within a private Facebook group. We start this Sunday, June 12th! Sign up at kaseybshuler.com/fitforthebody.