Updated: Jun 14
Spiritual Training Cycle: Examination (wk. 5/13)
What first drew you to fitness? For some of us, it was the love of a sport. How many of you remember that feeling of stepping onto a field or court for the first time? For others of us, it was the pursuit of better health. I’ve coached many athletes who started their fitness journeys later in life where health was the main goal. And for some of us, fitness is simply a lifestyle. It’s what we know, therefore, it’s what we do.
What draws you to fitness today? For me, it’s still about health and lifestyle, but now there’s so much more to the journey. Fitness is my connection to community, it’s where I see what I’m capable of, and it’s the place where I discover more about me. What better version of myself is waiting on the other side of a challenging workout or physical task? Joy in my fitness journey is found by searching.
This month, we’re going to do some searching, some soul searching, through the spiritual exercise of self-examination. Just like you have diagnostic tests and assessments for your physical health, self-examination is a soulful diagnostic for your spiritual health. The goal is to find the activity of God in the flow of your daily life.
Self-examination is a soulful diagnostic for your spiritual health
Here’s how it works. Self-examination is composed of four essential components designed to be completed at the end of each day. All you need is a quiet space and no more than ten minutes. Once you’ve integrated self-examination into your daily rhythm, you may be surprised where you see God and where you may be missing Him.
#1 EXPRESS GRATITUDE
No matter how gray the skies in your life are, you always have something to be grateful for. And yes, you can be grateful for God and His goodness and His love and all the things. But gratitude work is best done in the small things – the details of the day. For best results, you should journal your responses. When you need to get unstuck in your search for gratitude, try these questions:
For what moment today am I most grateful? // Where did I spy God?
#2 REVIEW THE DAY
The bulk of your searching will be found here. Replay the events of your day like a scene in a movie. Take time to pause the movie to see more of what was really going on. For example, why did traffic cause you so much anger? Was it the actual traffic or the events that led up to it? As you review the day, look for moments where you missed it and write them down. Consider feelings you may have hurt, words you may have wasted, anxiety you don’t benefit from. Also, consider moments in the day you didn’t act on. Where did God give you the opportunity to be a blessing, but you didn’t take it?
#3 SEEK FORGIVENESS
After you review your day, bring your misses to God. In a time of prayer, talk about where you fell short today. Acknowledge that your choices are a reflection of your heart and that your heart needs more work. Ask the Lord to forgive you. And if you feel prompted to ask someone else to forgive you, take action on it the next day. Don’t justify your actions or decide for someone whether they deserve an apology. Reach out, confess how what you did made you feel, and ask for forgiveness. It’s powerful!
#4 FIND GRACE
Self-examination is not a daily exercise designed to uncover your worthlessness and inability to get things right. It’s not a report card or a test. The only way it truly works is if you’re honest with yourself, and that means being willing to admit how much you need God’s grace. Allow the grace of God to move into new spaces of your life. Let His grace cover your hopes – even the ones it seem will never come to pass. Let God’s grace cover your problems, your issues, your feelings, your doubts, and your frustrations. Let His grace be the fuel for a peaceful night’s rest and the desire to draw closer to Him.
When I consider my fitness journey, it’s almost overwhelming. I’ve had some really cool moments, and I’ve also had some serious low points. But through it all, my thirst to see what still lies ahead remains unquenched. In both physical and spiritual fitness, I will continue searching.
Questions for Reflection:
Where do you tend to recognize God’s presence in your day?
What is God pointing out to you, about you, right now?