Wayne Gretzky is one of the greatest players in the history of any professional sport. In his 20 seasons playing hockey, Gretzky racked up quite a few records. In fact, he holds or shares 61 records in the NHL, including 6 for the All-Star Game alone. I think he has a bigger record collection in stats than my parents did in LP’s. Gretzky came across my feed this week. Apparently, Instagram knows my perfectionist tendencies, and in response offered me an ad for Masterclass. If you’re not familiar, Masterclass is a collection of on-line lessons, each taught by a true virtuoso in their field. Gretzky’s class is titled, “The Mindset of an Athlete.” In the class preview, he shares the following, “You don’t become good because you think you’re good. You become good because you’re committed to becoming better each and every day.” Gretzky discovered a valuable, yet simple lesson – do today’s work.
In CrossFit, work is commonly referred to as “programming.” There’s a good reason for that, and no, it’s not to charge more for a membership. Programming is the elegant and intricate weaving together of work. While CrossFit is constantly varied, the work is far from haphazard. Sit down with any great programmer and you’ll get a sense of what I’m talking about. Even though a workout of burpees, pull-ups and kettlebell swings may seem random, underneath it is a fabric of purpose pulling it together. That’s why we do today’s work. It may not be what we want or what we like, but as Gretzky so clearly stated, it’s what we need. At least if the plan is to build fitness. After more than a decade of coaching, I’ve still yet to encounter anyone who got fit simply by thinking they already were. You become fit by being committed to today’s work.
This may be an even tougher concept to grab in our spiritual lives. Let me pose it like this – do you become kind by thinking you are kind or by doing kind things? Some of you might feel this is like a chicken or egg thing, but I disagree. I think plenty of people resolve to think differently. Whether that’s caring less about what others think or using their words to build them up. And those are some great thoughts. But until you stop allowing Facebook to wreck your evening or you quit pointing out the faults of others, there’s no real growth. It’s not enough to commit to new thoughts, you must also commit to today’s work. To help, I’ve programmed a nice little spiritual workout for you:
As Many Rounds As Possible in 60 minutes
Let everything you say be good and helpful (Ephesians 4:29)
Take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5)
An emotionally healthy soul thrives when it is conditioned. It must be nurtured and cared for. The unhealthy impurities must be removed, making way for new growth and flourishing. This is the work of the Holy Spirit as we complete today’s work. Your best life isn’t simply the result of what you think. It’s also the result of what you do.
Questions for Reflection:
How would you define “today’s work” from a spiritual perspective?
What do you include in your daily spiritual work? What may be missing?