I’ve been into athletics for a long time. Basketball has been my main passion for many years, but I’ve participated in many other sports. I was very active all through high school.
At the end of the 2012-2013 school year, I started my job at the church and began a physics course at the university. I no longer had practices and games to attend every week, and I allowed myself to stop attending open gym scrimmages throughout the week. For over a month, I participated in minimal exercise.
Then I went and tried to hike a mountain. It wasn’t supposed to be an easy hike, but I struggled more than I should have. My legs burned, my lungs ached, my back cramped up. I like the feeling of pushing myself physically, but this was beyond that! I realized that I’d let myself get out of shape.
So I began working out again. It sucked! I’d let my muscles get lethargic and my cardio was awful. I hurt everywhere every morning before my work out, and felt like jelly for hours afterward. But somewhere along the way, my body began to change. My muscles gained strength and my endurance improved.
I was astonished at how fast my fitness level had decreased, and disappointed at how long it’s taken to regain my strength. But I’ve realized some things along the way. This struggle to be strong in body is a great metaphor for being spiritually strong (and academically, creatively, socially etc.)
If you don’t push yourself, you will never improve.
It is impossible to remain stagnant in faith.
Option 1: Don’t push yourself. Remain comfortable. Ultimately, grow more distant and weak in faith.
Option 2: Push yourself to change to be more like Christ, to draw closer to God. Get out of your comfort zone.
Be warned, pushing towards Christ, pursuing true relationship with Him is not easy. It can hurt, people around you might not understand, and you might wonder if it’s worth it.
I went back with some friends to hike the same mountain again last weekend. It was hard. My legs were quivering by the end and I was very sore the next day. But we made it! Exercising all summer had given me the cardio and muscular strength to conquer the mountain!
When you have pushed yourself to strengthen your faith, you can move mountains.
“I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” -Jesus