High Hopes

Most of us go through life worried that people will think too little of us. Paul went through life worried that people would think too much of him.
— D. Carson

Confession. I was so skinny in high school, I never wore a short-sleeved shirt to class; not one day in 4 years. At least not during regular school hours. And shorts? Probably didn't own a pair. But then came college, old Russell gym, grad school and years of practice. After that, I wore short sleeves and shorts 365 days a year, rain or shine. As long as I was growing, I was showing. I even walked around with a bit of what we called "lat syndrome," as if I was so wide I'd have trouble fitting through the door. I had a sincere belief that I would be bigger and stronger each week, and I trained with that kind of hope. Even as a Christian, I based much of my satisfaction on my ability to pick heavy things up and set them down and to do it multiple times. Sounds kind of corny to describe it that way, but I glorified in my ability to lift stuff.

But hope changes everything.

I recently read a blurb on social media from someone saying that you can trust the iron, because "Iron will never lie to you, iron is your best friend, and you can trust it, because 200 lbs will always be 200 lbs." What a commentary. I chuckle a little, because I could have easily written that 20 years ago. Thing is, it's just not true.

We can't put our trust in a weight we can lift.

Guys, hopefully something you've read this week has been a reminder that we don't base our satisfaction - our hope - in any "thing;" be it the money in our wallets, the cars in the garage, the boat hitched to the trailer (for those of you with boats), or the gifts of diligence in the gym. We can dig and dig and dig and dig, but the well of stuff - even health stuff - is dry. Bone dry. Should we strive to be the best at our calling, absolutely. Work hard? Without a doubt. But the hope on our lips, and in our hearts, and on our minds, can't be found on the scale, or in the mirror, or under the bar, or the bench, or from the PR (or via the selfie you take in its aftermath.) Our highest hope is in the person of Jesus.

Are you training - living - with that kind of hope?

-Jimmy Peña