Taking the wonderful Alistair Begg's quote and applying it to our vein would mean simply and profoundly that every physical accomplishment that you and I can make in this life, whether in the gym, on the road or in sports - everything we do mocks us because it's all so temporary. So fleeting.
My wife and I have been studying the book of Ecclesiastes over the last few weeks, and I'm not so sure that any book has had a more tangible, practical impact on my life than this one in recent memory. I'm collecting my thoughts and heart around a few of its passages, and I hope to write a series to begin next week, but if I were to be so bold as to try and summarize the book of Ecclesiastes for us as fitness experts and health-minded believers, it would be this: Fear God. Fitness is meaningless.
Now, I would pull that punch or at least provide some sort of qualifier for the other foot to drop provided my short summary, but here's the thing, it's true. Mind you, the writer of Ecclesiastes is incredibly wise (probably - with the exception of Jesus - the wisest that ever lived), so I urge you to read it before next week. And for the purpose of the common denominator of physical stewardship that we share, try and strain your health through each chapter. And as we'll see together, once you and I begin to fear God, the less we fear losing muscle. And at the risk of sounding crazy to some of you (or to my younger self), equally true is this: The more we fear God, the less anxious we are about the gain of muscle.
Truth is, and from experience, the mirror can mock us in its praise as much as it can mock us in its critique. But that mocking - whether by flattering us or offending us - will only take effect, it will only land and take root, it will only disturb us if we have yet to settle our hearts on that which isn't so fleeting.
For Discussion: Are you being mocked by the pleasure of health or the pain of its loss? I hope you plan on joining me next week as we go through our last full series of the year before we dive into the Christmas season. And please be praying for me and Team PrayFit as we head into next week. Speaking of, let's go to the Lord together. It's been a while since we've had the chance to meet like this, so if you have a prayer request or a need that you'd like to share, please list it in the comment section. If you'd rather say "unspoken" please do so and we promise to pray for you by name.