Charity here, Josie Teske is writing for you all today! Enjoy her insight into workout gains and spiritual gains. Don’t feel bad if you have to google “swoll” so did I.
When I became a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT), I wanted to become knowledgeable about the way our bodies work, move and function. But another thing I found was how much our bodies and the God of the universe align. Which makes sense considering we are HIS Creation made in HIS image.
Most of the time in the beginning stages of working out or joining a gym we may feel totally overwhelmed by the equipment or all of the “swoll” people that we aspire to be like. But it’s cool because we have the drive to get in shape. Ultimately in fitness we want to see results.
My original intent of working out was to feel good about myself. If I worked hard enough maybe I would get some toned abs, bicep definition and give the booty a nice lift. But here is the issue, I could pretend all I wanted but in all honesty, I had no idea what I was doing or, even how to achieve the goals I was looking for. Which turned in to really good maintenance with small gains, but still not the growth I really wanted.
Let’s pause and think about that, we get really good at maintaining but still struggle to see real growth. Doesn’t that sounds like our spiritual life at times? We want to see growth and results in our relationship with The Lord but, if we’re honest have no idea how to achieve the results we’re looking for.
Waking up, grabbing our coffee, bible, journal and the 10 other Jesus books was working for a while. Seeing little gains in our spiritual muscles here and there. But it doesn’t take very long to feel like the daily routine isn’t working anymore. Which is when discouragement and comparison usually set in. Have you ever felt like this? Stuck in a repetitive cycle, hungering for more of Jesus but struggling to feel full in His presence?
To achieve bigger gains in our body and in our spirit we have to be willing to change. Change up the routine! In fitness we call it muscle confusion; adding variety to your workout to avoid hitting a plateau. Giving your body what is called an “alarm reaction”. The alarm stage is the first of the three stages our body uses to respond to stressors (change) put on the body. In the alarm stage your body is woken up with a burst of energy and increased heart rate which, gives the energy your muscles need to decide what to do with the new stress put on them.
Same goes for our spiritual life. If you want to see more of Jesus odds are it is time for some muscle confusion. Allow your spirit to feel some new stress (change) so that you can receive that bust of energy and wake up!
In fitness some changed variables would be:
- Increase weight
- Increase number of reps/sets
- Use different machines
In our relationship with Jesus some changes might be:
- go to a new place for quiet time
- Go for a walk/hike/bike ride while you pray
- Have an accountability partner that you share with.
Find what works for you. Give God space to tell you something new about yourself, and go for it! I love to run so running and praying helps my spiritual muscles grow. Maybe running isn’t for you and that’s totally okay! Try not to compare your spiritual growth to someone else. You are unique, made special with gifts in you that you haven’t even uncovered. I am confident that the Lord wants to reveal himself in new ways to you. Odds are it is going to take some spiritual muscle confusion to wake you up. Adventure with Jesus and you will be a swollider for sure!