Jesus at the Gym
Now, even though the title of this blog may make you scratch your head a little, don’t worry I’m not going to be showing any half clothed pics of the progress of my new healthy lifestyle! All joking aside though, I have begun a new journey towards healthier choices. A mentor of mine, Kevin Ward once said, “People will pay for their health. It will either be in the form of a doctor bill when you are older, or a gym membership while you are young. Choose the gym membership.” I think he’s right! Therefore, taking care of my health has always been a very important thing on my list. In fact, just a few years ago while I was still in youth ministry, I had a youth pastor ask me why I was so focused on my workouts and keeping my weight in check. I was pretty passionate in my answer, “Because I love my life, and I love what God has called me to do, and I want to do it as long as humanly possible.”
I have found that working out is a very spiritual thing for me. It’s my keystone habit. In his book, “The Power of Habit”, author Charles Duhig talks about keystone habits. A keystone habit is the one habit that propels you forward towards healthier habits. I have found that when I workout, I eat better, I read my Bible more consistently, I have more energy to work harder, I sleep better, and quite honestly I’m a much friendlier person to be around.
So now, to explain the title of this post. Well, last weekend I was working out. I was doing interval training on the elliptical machine after I had just completed my back and bicep workout. My goal was to sweat really hard and to get my heart rate up. The brand new Jesus Culture album, “Love Has a Name” was thumping through my headphones and I didn’t know a word to a single song on the album. (This is important because I want you to know that what was about to happen was not emotionalism at all.) So, I was clipping along as hard as I could on the machine when I felt the presence of God right next to me. Now some would say that was just chills from my workout and excuse it away, but I know better. I’ve been in God’s presence before. It was very real! However, in the moment I was a little taken back. In fact, I remember asking God, why would you show up like this in the gym? AND I’ll never ever forget His response…because you invited me here.
I was reminded in that moment about the power of worship. I never imagined that God would show up in the gym, but He did and His goal that day was simply to encourage me. I felt His love! Now, I’m pretty sure the RPM’s on the machine were climbing because I began to step harder and harder. In that moment, I felt Him say, “I’m proud of you” and “You got this”. AND here’s the awesome part, the last few days I have walked into the gym with an even greater confidence because I know He’s there – because I have invited Him.
One thing I know is that when we are in Christ, we take Him every where that we go. Sure, it may not be the gym for you where you need Him most. It may be at work. It may be as you or a loved one continues to fight in the hospital room you are in high now. You may need him the most in your own home. All I know is this, that when you invite God, He shows up. AND He changes everything!