This last weekend, Loretta and I once again were honored to spend time with special needs kids at Calvary Community Church. 'Buddy Break,' - directed by one of the nation's most respected leaders in special needs ministry, Gina Spivey - is simply a time for parents to get a much needed rest; where kids with autism or other illnesses are paired with volunteers to just play and hang so their parents can have a date, watch a movie, go to lunch, take a nap.
I was once again paired with my best pal Jordan. Jordan asks me every question he can imagine. And I love him for it. He's trapped inside, as Gina would say, and his mind races a mile a minute to repeat his question about the color of the sky, or what sound a frog makes, and if I like mustard; questions I'm highly honored to answer as many times as he asks them.
Some people may say that my message of fitness has grown soft. That this old weightlifter doesn't spend enough time in the gym; doesn't talk strategy or celebrate achieved goals like the rest of the industry. And they'd be right. Beat that with a stick. But by grace, the smaller my arms get, the stronger they grow.
Honoring God with my body isn't about goals, although I encourage you to set them. It isn't about weights or sets or reps or beating yesterday's best, although it's my life's work to help you along that path. But write this down: Goals and achievements describe capability, not impact. They can be a means, but they are never the mark.
Now, I doubt that my fitness motives have ever been so pure that they had no sin or pride or vanity in them, but I often wonder how fit I need to be to feed the hungry, help the poor, or visit the sick? In the end, I don't need a heavy set of ten. I need a heavy heart. Stewardship doesn't require muscle, endurance, speed, agility, progress or a pump, just a pulse.
And yes, sweet Jordan. I like mustard.
- Jimmy Peña
Prayer Request: Most of you know that for a decade prior to the launch of PrayFit, I was the worldwide fitness editor and strength & conditioning expert for Muscle & Fitness Magazine, as well as the author or contributor to eight fitness and nutrition books. What a ride. And even though my illness removed much of my ability to workout personally, I still find such honor in helping you steward your health to enable you to serve others. For that reason, we are working on the iPrayFit education center to help us better assist you in your daily endeavors. We are also close to announcing the date of the next PrayFit conference. Please pray for us. God is opening doors as I type. More soon.