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

I’ve witnessed many miracles in my lifetime, but none may be more powerful than the miracle of childbirth. Even as an observer in the room cheering mom on, watching human life enter this world is nothing short of miraculous. When children are born, friends and family immediately enter detective mode. Like sleuths tracking down clues in a case, all efforts are focused on one topic – who is the baby like? He has his dad’s chin (whatever that means). She’s got her mom’s eyes. And for many of us today, we don’t even do this in person. We often see babies for the first time through social media. The truth is that kids are both like their parents and not like their parents. Children are images.

We even use that language. Well, you may not, but my grandparents did. If a baby cow looked like her mom, they would use the phrase, “spitting image.” Don’t think that’s only reserved for livestock. I've heard many people say that children were the spitting image of one of their parents. And while that may sound a little gross, don’t focus on spit. Focus on image. Children are not exactly like their parents, yet in so many ways they are. Think about mannerisms, language, preferences, and even facial features. Spend enough time around someone’s children and you can almost sense the culture of the home in which they are being raised.

I see the same thing in community fitness gyms. In most of the CrossFit gyms I visit for work or training, I get to meet the owner or owners. They create the culture of the gym. But the evidence of that culture shows up in the characteristics of the athletes. Even in ways I may not have noticed. For example, gyms that have a strength bias develop stronger athletes. If the atmosphere is encouraging or friendly or inviting, I’ll experience that through the athletes. The gym creates those athletes. And while athletes will never be the gym, they reflect the gym to everyone they encounter. Athletes are images of their gyms.

The same idea applies to humanity as a whole. Humanity is made in the image of God. In Genesis, God begins by creating. He creates and then He sees that what He creates is good. Not morally good, but rather as it should be. The creation story reaches a crescendo when God makes His final creation – us.

So God created humanity in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27

We are images of God. Just like children or athletes, we are representative of something as well. We establish and exude the culture of Heaven on Earth. How cool is that? Now I’m not saying we get it right all the time, or that everyone is all in on this whole image bearing thing. But I believe we each intrinsically image God in a unique fashion. Not just as a physical representation, but as a functional caretaker. When we pick up trash or find homes for abandoned animals or console a friend during a difficult time, we are in some small part caring for the world. We are made to do this because we are made in the image of God.

Let me encourage you to take some time and ponder what this really means. What characteristics, mannerisms, language or other qualities of you feel like God? Which of them don’t? When people tell me they want to change their fitness, I tell them the answer is one choice at a time. If we want to change the world, the same premise holds true. We change the world one image of God at a time.

Questions for Reflection:

What characteristics, mannerisms, language or other qualities of you feel like God?

Why is a community better at reflecting culture than a single person? How does that apply in our pursuit of spiritual fitness?

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