I recently bought a slim-fitting, water-proof, technology-savvy pair of gloves. These gloves are sleek! I mean, I barely know I am wearing them. They fit snug, but not too tight. They keep my fingers warm and toasty, one at a time. They cover my wrist adequately and even allow me to touch the screen of my iPod or iPhone to change the music or Podcast I'm listening to while out running or what-not. The first time I used them to go running I put them on before I laced up my sneakers. I thought it would be no problem, tying my shoes with these fabulous gloves on. I barely notice them and can articulate every finger sufficiently. It's almost as if I'm not wearing gloves at all.
Until I actually tried to tie my shoes. My fingers didn't have the adequate grip needed to secure each lace acceptably. The laces kept fumbling around in my hands and slipping through my grip. I was able to tie my shoes, well enough I guess. They stayed tied for almost the entire first mile. But my planned run was 5K, so they didn't quite do the job. No matter how fancy, sleek and perfectly fitting my gloves were, they limited my shoe-tying potential. They allowed me to tie my shoes, yes, but not to the best of my ability, or in a way that was long-lasting.
Who reading this has made some health and fitness goals for 2016? I highly prefer the word goal to resolution, personally. Maybe it's the connotation the word "resolution" elicits. But I feel much more capable and much less stress when I set goals compared to resolutions. You?
If you are one of the many who do set health and fitness goals for a new year, are you then also one of the 92% (according to research shared on forbes.com) who never attains them?
Maybe it's because you have been tying your shoes with your gloves on.
Maybe in your pursuit of your goals, you have bought new shoes. You ordered a cute workout outfit (my favorite lately have been from fabletics.com). You purchased a new workout program. You joined a gym. You got an accountability partner. You even bought a fitness tacking device to keep track of your calories and/or your steps.
All of these things are not bad. In fact, they will help you - in the short term. Similar to how my shoes stayed tied for the first mile of my run. I was capable of tying my shoes with my gloves on. I got the job done, well enough. But I just had to start all over a mile into my run.
I lost momentum.
I lost my focus.
And I lost time.
This is very much how our health and fitness goals go when we attempt them on our own, without giving them to God. Without asking for Him to be a part of it all. Without getting on our knees and asking Him to be our focus, for His will to be our momentum and for His outcome to be achieved - not ours. Being health and fit is a good goal. It enables your body to do the work that God has in mind just for you! It makes doing whatever it is you are called to do, easier. Being healthy and fit looks different on every individual. There is no standard by which to measure yourself other than God's Word.
Instead of comparing yourself to your friend, ask yourself if you've been a faithful steward of YOUR health. Galatians 5:25b-26 (the Message translation)
......let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.
Instead of attempting a certain race, diet or program that worked for your coworker, ask God what suits YOU! This reminds me of the story of David and Goliath. You might recall that Saul, thinking he was being helpful, put his armor on David. But that did not suit David. It was not the way that would work for him. 1 Samuel 17:38-40:
Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them. 'I cannot go in these,' he said to Saul, 'because I am not used to them.' So he took them off. Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.
When we attempt to do it all on our own, or a way that worked for our friend/spouse/worker/neighbor, having faulty motives and selfish ambitions - we will NEVER BE SATISFIED. Nor will we achieve the goals God has in mind for us. And His goals are so much greater than anything we can possibly imagine! When we attempt to do ANYTHING without Jesus, ultimately we fail. At first it may seem like it's working - just like when I tied my shoes with my gloves on. Sooner or later you will need to start all over.
But with Jesus, ALL things are possible.
Every single thing that is good and pleasing to our gracious Father in heaven and in step with the Spirit.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for the gift of health. Lord God, help me to never take this for granted. You created me and because of You I live, breathe, move and have my being. Help me to give my everythings to you. I know when I surrender to you my entire life, I am safe and secure and will be successful. Forgive me for the times I feel I can do it on my own, when I think I don't need you, or when I feel I don't have to "bother you" with the smaller things in my life. When your hand is orchestrating the big things and the small things - they are all big things. Remove from me all selfish ambition, vanity, pride, loathing, or any other hurtful feelings I have when it comes to my body and my health. Creator and Redeemer, equip me, daily to be a faithful steward of my body, mind and soul. Let my decision-making process be rooted in my love for you and my desire to glorify you with ALL that I am. In Jesus' name I pray, boldly and confidently. Amen.