Something has been going through my (Scott’s) mind this morning as I leave the gym and begin the transition for work. I feel inadequate in posting items about faith because there are days I feel like a hypocrite, especially in what I’m about to talk about. But if I have learned something time and time again it’s that if God puts a thought or idea on your heart over and over again that it’s worth sharing – so here goes…
I have spent a lot of time over the years submerged in the gym culture and consider myself to be quite observant in knowing my surroundings and connecting with the gym goers I see on a regular basis. During the hours of 0330-0500am it’s pretty much the same group and there is a certain unspoken friendship and camaraderie among those of us who start our days early to the sound of iron being lifted up and down. Often times I decide that whatever day it is, it’s a good day to push my limits and see what I can do. In my early days at the gym when I was scared, intimidated and didn’t want to look weak, I would attempt to lift weights heavier than I was able to on my own. A couple of different outcomes resulted in this trap of pride:
Outcome 1: I lifted the weight horribly and tweaked my shoulder or twisted my knee causing pain and discomfort. I allowed my pride and fear to produce damage to my body.
Outcome 2: The bar didn’t even make it off the rack. It was so heavy and physically foreboding that it trapped me into thinking it was impossible.
Even a thick-necked, protein shake drinking, gym rat like myself can see the obvious parallel. In my pride I’m certain that I can do it on my own – I convince myself I don’t need help from anyone – even God. In fact people are walking by my bench asking if I need help and I’m all “No I got this.”
The truth is I don’t. The weight of what is pushing me down is too much for me to control on my own. Sometimes I clumsily push it away for a short term but more often than not the weight doesn’t even move.
It’s been awhile since I have been that guy at the gym. My surroundings and brethren there have become familiar. Day after day of training has made more confident. I can easily ask for help because I have made friends in this community and in turn they can easily ask for mine.
What would it look like if I let the same way of thinking bleed into my church/spiritual life? Being vulnerable enough to state “The weight is too heavy and I need a spot.” should be the way I approach my church family and the way I approach God. Doing this repetitively would not only allow others to be used of God but would invite them into the same sense of transparency and realness. After a while the weight would become lighter and we would be more equipped to put up more weight.
So with this in mind put on your favorite bro tank, pull up your socks and be aware that whatever is hovering above you is not made to be lifted alone. It’s too heavy, you’re not kidding anyone. Let go of your pride and ask for that help. You can’t lift it alone and I can’t either.