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Spiritual Training Cycle: Foundation (wk. 13/13)

When you first start CrossFit, it feels like the goal is simply to survive. But after a few months in the gym, as your fitness starts to improve, survival gives way to new opportunities. And one of those is doing the workout as prescribed, known in the CrossFit culture as ‘RX.’ For me, ‘RXing’ a workout is the feeling that my fitness has arrived. But beyond RX lies one even more elusive goal – completing a workout unbroken.

Unbroken means that you did all the reps without breaking your form or resting. Movement after movement, you just kept going – unfazed by the tasks set in front of you. I think in some way we all aspire to move through our workouts unbroken.

There is a curious little story that Jesus tells in the book of Luke, about a father and son. One day the son says to the father, ‘I wish you were already dead so that I could take my share of the inheritance and go live my life my way.’ For some reason, the father agrees, and the son sets out to distant lands to live his life his way. Eventually, he finds an ancient version of Las Vegas and starts living it up, from bottle service to Rolex and everything in between. The money runs out (it always does), and he finds himself broke and broken. He gets a job slopping pigs (the grossest job imaginable for a Jew).

It is here he has an awakening, “Even the servants in my father’s house have it better than I do. Maybe if I beg, my father will hire me to feed his animals.” He returns home, broke and broken.

A good distance off, the father is scanning the horizon – looking for a shape, a gait, a sign that his son is coming home. Suddenly dust appears on the horizon, along with a skinny silhouette. It is his son. The father runs. The wealthy, dignified, respectable old man cuts loose. He wraps his son in his arms, calls for clothes and dignity to be restored to his boy – brings him home, and throws a party.

The father’s love was unbroken. The Father’s love goes unbroken.

The boy’s selfishness, disrespect, and poor choices never fazed his father’s love. And it doesn’t faze God’s love either. As Romans 5:8 says, God demonstrates His own love for us that, while we were still selfish, prideful jerks living our lives our way, Christ died. God’s love goes unbroken.

Your poor choices, your doubts, your guilt, or your regret cannot break God’s love for you.

If you never believe, God will still love you.

If you never get your life straight, God still waits for you.

If you do worse, God doesn’t stop caring for you.

If you throw it all away, God doesn’t throw you away.

God’s love stays unbroken…even to the point of death. The cross couldn’t break God’s love, and the grave couldn’t hold it. So, the next time your Coach says, ‘try to go unbroken,’ may you recall the unbroken love of God.

Questions for Reflection:

When have you felt the love of God?

What are some of the habits, behaviors, and beliefs you think make someone unlovable?

What are some of the distant lands in your life you need to abandon so you can return to love?

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