Today, my upper body is groaning whether my lower body joins in or not! I am more than willing to hug my husband, if he is willing to lift my arms and put them around him. The lower body will be singing its own song tomorrow. I started a rough, tough, six-week boot camp. This is not for sissies! At age sixty-three, I’ve asked myself several times: what were you thinking?
For years, I have been very stagnant with my exercise routine, doing the same things over and over and over. While that might be better than nothing, it was not getting me stronger for life.
Facts about my boot camp:
- I prepaid the whole six weeks so I’d think twice about quitting. This is not one of those fifty dollars for six weeks camps. The price that was paid makes me want to grow stronger!
- I am way out of my comfort zone. Treadmills I know! Ellipticals I know! A few exercise machines I know! All of those have helped in my journey. Now, I’m doing things beyond what I did in the past. For example, I’m squatting while “battling” large ropes. I have to quickly flick my wrists and keep the long, thick rope making waves. The crunch machine – ugh! The only thing I have been crunching for the last few years is chips. Did I say this is not for sissies?
- I bought new clothes to dress the part. I have worn sloppy clothes to the gym for a long time. I took the Christmas money I was gifted and bought new, sharp looking duds! I am dressed to succeed.
- I have to listen to the right voice. One says, “You don’t want to do this, and you don’t have to do this.” Another says, “You can do this. It’s time to stretch and grow.” My success depends on my willingness to listen to and act upon the right voice.
- My leader (trainer) coaches me to go beyond where I have been. If I am not in a correct position to do what it takes to build my muscles, he tells me to position myself. I don’t have to do what he says. I can smile at him, praise him, thank him and go home and feel I have grown. Not! I have to do what the coach tells me.
Boot camp is much like the spiritual walk:
- PAID-IN-FULL. A price was paid in advance for us to have victory in this life, and be a part of God’s great adventures. The price alone should make us push forward. Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe.
- Battle the ropes. Some of us have not moved beyond where we were ten years ago. We are doing the same spiritual treadmill. While that might have gotten us to this point, it’s time to “battle” a few ropes and move out of the comfort zone. What can you do differently? Stretch that faith!
- Dress the part. Put on the whole armor of God listed in Ephesians 6. I don’t mean the oral ritual that so many do each day, but really study the armor and dress in its principles. We have worn sloppy spiritual clothes long enough!
- Listen to the right voice. Hearing God’s voice above all others is essential. The easiest way to do that is to get into His written Word. So much “untruth” is being preached and taught today. Find out what God says, and don’t pick and choose verses that say only what you want to hear. Study whole books of the Bible even if it takes you a year to go through one book.
- Do what God says! He might even have to tell us that we are not in a correct position to grow, and there needs to be a position change. We have listened to hundreds of sermons, gone to countless conferences and taken enough notes to fill whole books. Too often we smile, throw up our hands in praise, give thanks and then go home and lay the notebook down. It’s time to do what the coach says!
Ladies and gentlemen, I invite you to join me in God’s boot camp. God is gently coaching us out of our comfort zone into a faith zone. We can stretch our faith or play it safe. I think I’ll get up off this chair and head to the ropes! How about you?
“Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress.” 1 Timothy 4:15