DEDICATED TO MORE
Today I drove all the way to the gym, sat in the parking lot for about five minutes, and then turned around and drove home without ever stepping foot inside. That’s right, I do that sometimes. Sometimes, I look at the gym and realize that that day, for whatever reason, I just can’t do it. Today, I didn’t feel well. Mentally, physically, and emotionally, I felt wrecked and weak and drained and, quite frankly, like the two hours I typically spend lifting weights and running would be far better spent in fellowship with my Creator.
Today I skipped the gym because I am dedicated to my health.
This concept of dedication is something many of us have confused and misconstrued. Dedication is more than just showing up. It is knowing when to show up and where to show up. It means knowing when to give your all at the gym, or at work, or at laying in bed all day long in communion with the God of the Universe.
I believe that God made us beautiful, complex creatures who can literally find comfort and healing in something as basic as running or lifting weights. He also made us complex enough that that doesn’t always do the trick. We can’t attempt to treat all our pain with the same solution and then wonder why we still hurt at the end of the day. If you try to treat your anxiety with relaxation when what you need is activity, you will still hurt afterward. And likewise, if you seek healing in preoccupation when what you need is time with you Creator, you will find yourself hurting no differently at the end of the day. Recognizing this differentiation takes work. It takes listening to your body, knowing your rhythms, and trusting that health is more complex than a gym membership or well-kept diet. We weren’t created to be dedicated to gyms or jobs or diets. We were created to be dedicated first and foremost to our Heavenly Father and that holy dedication seeps over into a dedication to our health and ourselves.
Consider this: when Elijah got hopeless and suicidal in 1 Kings 19, he didn’t hit the gym to try to out lift his problems. He got a couple nights sleep, some good lunches, and had a real conversation with God. When Moses got overwhelmed in Exodus, he didn’t just change his diet to accommodate more vitamin C. He climbed up a damn mountain to spend forty days communing with God. And when Jesus was awaiting His death, He didn’t clock in and work as hard as humanly possible. He went into a garden and prayed away some of His last hours on earth.
All those men were dedicated to their health and they understood that health is so much bigger than the shape or condition of our bodies. They knew when it was time to work hard at their relationship with God rather than work hard and the earthly tasks assigned by Him.
Sometimes I skip the gym because I am so dedicated to my health, I know how to recognize when activity is just a distraction from what I really need. And what I really need is Jesus.
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All photography by Kylie Morgan