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For Quality

In CrossFit there are many ways to measure the success of a workout. Two of the most common are task and time. In a task priority workout, also known as an AMRAP, the goal is volume. Athletes are trying to get as much work, or task, completed in the amount of time allowed. The marker of success is the amount of work you achieve. Then there’s time. When a workout is “for time,” speed is the priority. Success is measured by your ability to complete the work faster than either the other athletes in the gym or yourself the last time you did the same workout. But every so often in our gym, the measurement of success will change. I remember the first time I attempted one such workout. Well, I don’t remember the workout as much as how I felt when I read what I was supposed to do. Two words that made me rethink my approach to every workout – For Quality.

Quality. It seems like such a simple concept. Most people would agree quality matters. Think about the produce you buy. How many times have you passed over a banana or avocado or tomato in favor of one you deemed more superior? This is a small expression of our pursuit of quality. We want quality vacations, quality dinners out, we even want quality time with friends and family. But does that same pursuit of quality show up in our gym life? If we’re honest, the answer is most likely no, and that includes me. When time or task becomes the priority, quality often takes a back seat. I mean when was the last time you bought someone a quality birthday gift from the drug store when you suddenly remembered their birthday and had five minutes to pick something out. Quality is in tension with task and time, not just in the gym but in life.

So, here’s your first reflection question – what does a quality life look like? Perhaps that’s too deep right out of the gate. Let me flip it and ask it this way – what does a life without quality look like? Ah, there we go, that’s a little easier. I wonder if just now you pictured a past experience in your own life. Maybe you saw yourself going through the motions. Maybe you let your pride drive your motives. Maybe you gave into worry and never took the chance to try. In short, you missed it. The biproduct of a life without quality is regret. Regret is often a pretty good indicator you’ve stopped prioritizing quality.

In the Bible reading for today, the author is writing about how to live a quality life. He’s giving his audience a quality checklist if you will. As you read through these verses, let me encourage you to grab a pen or highlighter and make some observations. I think you’ll notice there’s an overarching theme to living a quality life, and that’s to live it “in Christ.” Jesus isn’t just a kind Jewish teacher who lived a morally upright life. He’s the Son of God who defeated death and invites us all into a new life. If you really want quality to be the measure of success in your life, follow Jesus. Otherwise, you’ll read these teachings and keep trying to change your character formation. When you live a life in Christ, you give yourself over to spiritual transformation. There’s a huge difference believe me!

The next time you’re in the gym, pursue quality. The next time you’re at work, pursue quality. The next time you’re in a rush, pursue quality. The next time you want to get the last word in, pursue quality. The next time you’re trying to get everything done on your to-do list, pursue quality. A quality life isn’t just the best tomato or dinner or vacation. A quality life is one given over to Jesus and lived in pursuit of who He would call you to be. In the midst of a crazy, self-obsessed, self-absorbed culture, change the metric of your success. Live your life for quality.

Questions for Reflection:

What does a quality life look like?

Do you recognize the tension between quality, work, and time? What does it feel like in your life when all three are in harmony?

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