More Molding Than Sculpting

The suffering of the apostles is the means by which 
the gospel makes its way.
— NT Wright

What a powerful quote. I had the honor of listening to NT Wright lecture last year. Genius.

Well, hopefully you've a chance to read the last couple of entries, because they've reminded me of Gungor's hit song, "Beautiful Things." If you haven't heard it, the short chorus goes:

You make beautiful things.
You make beautiful things out of the dust.
You make beautiful things.
You make beautiful things out of us.

I don't always feel beautiful, do you? I mean, I'm capable of some pretty ugly things. Thoughts, actions, tendencies, habits. Put me in charge of something beautiful and I'll make it otherwise. But that's the beauty of salvation. When we accept Jesus into our hearts, He saves us from the penalty of sin. And as we live, He sanctifies us, progressively saving us from the power of sin. And ultimately, He will glorify us; forever saving us from the presence of sin.

What a picture for us in the fitness and nutrition industry. Dirt that gets molded and formed into the likeness of its Creator. Not always painlessly or peacefully, but like NT Wright's wonderful quote, when God's creation suffers, we have the glorious appointment to further the gospel; like the outstretched baton of a runner delirious in his relay. 

Guys, if you're anything like me, you need a makeover every single day; the kind a thousand reps can't produce. Sounds a bit heavenly-minded, but the highest goal of any fitness program is to bring us - and others - closer to Jesus. That's indisputable. Because we're dust. Come hardships, come pain, come suffering, we're dirt that needs more molding than sculpting. Amen?

Grace says I may not be pretty, but I will be beautiful.

- jimmy peña