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The Path

Updated: Sep 22, 2023

Spiritual Training Cycle: Submission (wk. 12/13)

This August, one of the biggest events in the sport of CrossFit was underway, the 2023 NoBull CrossFit Games. Every year thousands of people gather around to watch some of the fittest athletes on earth compete. The one difference in watching the CrossFit Games compared to other major sporting events is that everyone is represented. You get to watch teenagers compete in the same colosseum as seniors. You see elite athletes doing legless rope climbs on the same field as those with legs made of prosthetics. Watching the CrossFit Games gives hope to anyone aspiring to make a life change for themselves after watching those who have already done it.

However, if you’re on a fitness journey, you know there are plenty of struggles to overcome. There’s the early morning alarm if the only time you can work out is before work. There’s the wake up and weigh yourself fatigue when the numbers don’t seem to budge. There are also the restaurant substitutes to make when you want to cut back on carbs, but free chips and salsa are so hard to resist. Getting the dream physique or total body makeover takes more than just hope – It also takes patience.

While watching the CrossFit Games can inspire hope in all of us, it’s not a hope that we too will one day stand on the podium as a champion. Well, at least not most of us. Rather it’s a hope to remind us the path we are taking leads to something good. Hope helps us stay patient on the path to fitness no matter how hard it gets.

We don’t just need hope in the gym, we also need hope in life. And when that hope is found in Jesus, things change. Because Jesus is the ultimate champion, He did the impossible – He defeated death. And His win becomes our win when we put our hope in Him. It’s a future hope the Apostle Paul talks about in Romans 8:18. It’s a hope that keeps us on the right path even when things don’t seem to be going our way.

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

This plays out in our spiritual lives when we find ourselves back sliding in the habitual sins or selfishness we thought we had taken care of years ago. Even in those moments, there’s still access to the same hope in Christ. There will come a day when the reality of sin will be no more. Until that day, we have patience on the path God is leading us along. His hope becomes the foundation of our patience, including patience with ourselves.

Maybe we are struggling to have patience with God when our prayers are unanswered, so we give up on talking to Him. We might be starving in our faith for a deeper relationship with God, but we are more distracted than ever online. Even when we can’t see God’s hand, we can still know His heart. If He didn’t spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how much more can we assume that His timing is perfect and that He loves us (Romans 8:32).

When things don’t happen in our time and our way, we can have patience in God’s timing because He is faithful to lead us on the right path back to Himself. The CrossFit Games is like a metaphor for the Kingdom of God. CrossFit invites anyone and everyone into the sport of fitness. In the same way, God invites anyone and everyone into a relationship with Him leading to fullness and true meaning in life. With Jesus at the top of the podium, we can have enduring patience in the journey, knowing that we will one day be seated with Him because He has already won. And that is something to be patient for.

Questions for Reflection:

Where do you excel in patience?

What are you trusting God with right now?

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