Max Lucado once wrote, "A small cathedral outside Bethlehem marks the supposed birthplace of Jesus. Behind a high altar in the church is a cave, a little cavern lit by silver lamps. You can enter the quiet cave where a star embedded in the floor recognizes the birth of the King. There’s one stipulation, however. You have to stoop. The door is so low you can’t go in standing up. The same is true of the Christ. Blessed are the meek, Jesus explained. You can see the world standing tall, but to witness the Savior, you have to get on your knees. While the theologians were sleeping, and the elite were dreaming, and the successful were snoring, the meek were kneeling. They were kneeling before the One only the meek will see."
And that's what we will do over the next few days. We will imagine the doorway to our gym or our studio has somehow been lowered; shrunk to the point that we - the typically upright and able hard-chargers - have to stoop. Our new posture - before and after every rep, every pose, every hold, and every goal that we set - will serve as a reminder that our health and our opportunities to succeed all come from God.
We have nothing in our hands, no grip, no nerve, no sinew, no muscle, no motivated mind, no desire in our hearts, no fire in our belly, and nothing in the mirror's reflection displaying the byproducts of those intangibles that we did not receive from God.
But may we all be warned. FOR that to happen, and IF that happens, there are consequences. It may mean - on the shallow periphery - less success, less strength, endurance or achievement. It may mean - on the invisible soul - that the weight of the opinions of others weighs less, and it may mean that the accepted and expected competition with yesterday's self is actually less competitive, less fierce, less intense, less obvious. But my prayer for all of us - especially for the pride-filled writer of this sentence - is that the consequence will be a blessing; one given to those that will inherit the earth.