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Changed



Spiritual Training Cycle: Examination (wk. 2/13)

 

CrossFit changed my life

I drink the CrossFit “Kool-Aid.” I came to CrossFit four years ago after a lifetime of other fitness activities that included team sports, strength training, swimming, running, and biking. And I also came after several years of no consistent exercise focus. When I started CrossFit, I was simply looking for a way to get back in shape and do something consistently.

 

But it was more than I anticipated. Indeed, I am one of those who will say that CrossFit changed my life. In the first ten months I lost 30 pounds. In the past four years I’ve also added twenty pounds of muscle.  Today, as one of the oldest members at our CrossFit gym, I am keeping up with people half my age and doing physical activities I haven’t been able to do in decades.

 

As a result of my new fitness level, my coming years look to be significantly healthier than they would have been without CrossFit. My future is different than my past.

 

Their future is different than their past

Baptism happens twice a year at the church my family attends. On these special weekends, the normal set-up at the front of the auditorium is replaced with a portable spa.  The typical service agenda of music, teaching and church announcements is pre-empted by a number of church-goers who have asked to be baptized.

 

When it is their turn, these people climb into the spa, turn to the rest of us and share stories of how God has changed their lives. Some of their stories are amazing.  From horrible pasts and dark activities, from broken homes or no homes, from abuse and neglect and lifetimes of bad decisions, they are now starting over spiritually. While not all their stories are dramatic, all of them are profound. These people are now declaring, based on their faith in Jesus, that their future is different than their past.

 

At the end of each of their stories, one of our ministers baptizes them in front of all of us. When these people come up out of the water, our auditorium erupts in a spontaneous celebration of their new lives. Their futures will be different than their pasts.

 

Jesus used his own baptism to mark a change in his life

Jesus was himself baptized. The perfect Son of God who had no need to turn from his past, chose to be baptized himself.  And his baptism marked a transition for him from his past into his future. As the story is told in Matthew’s gospel, as soon as Jesus was baptized, he entered his time of testing in the desert and then began his three years of public ministry before heading to the cross. Even for Jesus, baptism marked that his future was different than his past.

 

Questions for Reflection:

What would a different athletic future look like for you?

 

What would a different spiritual future look like for you?

 

What can you do to step into that future?

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