Maybe you’ve heard of CrossFit. I’m one of those crazy people who have bought into their way of using constantly varied, functional movements at a high intensity. Basically this just means you work really hard, never at the same things, in a way that will make your everyday life better. This isn’t an ad for CrossFit, but I wanted to share a parallel I found in regards to my walk with God. CrossFit is hard and walking with God is far from an easy road at times. One of the benefits of this type of workout is that you should be ready for anything life may throw at you. This can be described as a hopper, think a drum full of different workouts or movements. The idea is that you would turn the cranks, spin the hopper and then blindly choose a workout. Some movements you would excel at; others would be more challenging and make you want to run away screaming.
The goal is to accomplish the hard stuff, rather than sticking to the things you are already good at.
Otherwise your overall fitness will be stunted.
Doesn’t life feel like this hopper sometimes? There are seasons when things seem to run smoothly, falling into place like a storybook. Other times it’s as if someone is playing a series of practical jokes on you, because nothing seems easy and everything hurts. I understand. Greg Glassman, the creator of CrossFit, said it like this: “There is more traction, more advantage, more opportunity in pursuing headlong that event or skill that you do not want to see come out of the hopper than putting more time into the ones where you already excel.”
Paul, an apostle of Jesus, talked about facing hard things like this:
“I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it,[a] but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us” (Philippians 3:12-14).
The natural inclination is to try to run away from the hard things, but we can’t just wish the difficulties of life away.
We have to be grown ups, don’t we? We won’t get any stronger, wiser or better equipped for what is ahead unless we run straight into what we don’t always know how to accomplish. The cool part is that God gets it; He knows the road ahead and the way to navigate it. If we will let God into our hearts and our lives, He has promised that He will walk along with us, strengthening us when we are inches away from giving up.
Life is unpredictable, something I am learning more and more each day as my two daughters are now in high school. My list of “conversations I thought I’d never have” is getting longer and longer. But something else I am learning is that once we come through a difficult conversation or an intense situation, we end up being stronger than we were before. Just as I am getting stronger by practicing new ways of fitness, I am learning to not let myself be controlled by the fear of what might possibly come out of the “hopper” of life. I can trust that no matter what is coming next, God is already there, like the best fitness coach I’ve ever had. He will correct things I am lacking, encourage me when I’m faltering and will ultimately celebrate with me when I conquer what felt unconquerable.