Fit and Free!
“My children never dream too big, you know. They dream too small. They choose to play in the mud on a cold rainy day when I offer them open green meadows in the sun… The sons (and daughters) of Adam try so hard to be satisfied with so little-which keeps them from ever being satisfied at all.” From “Safely Home,” by Randy Alcorn, 2001.
Mini Interview with Julie:
Q: What is the purpose of this section?
J: Hope! I want to share with you my journey-not as one who easily conquered, but as one who has been there in the worst of the battle and figured out through lots of failure and finally growing success some solid answers and steps that can completely change a life-and did. It is not my intent to make anyone feel ashamed or guilty, but to help you find hope that freedom in Christ is a possible reality.
Q: What is your definition of fitness?
J: I think true fitness is the pursuit of balance, discipline, and self-control over every area of your life simultaneously, with submission to God as the underlying foundation. You can’t just be fit physically and have the rest of your life out of order or falling apart-what good is that? I also don’t believe you can be truly spiritually fit unless your lifestyle, affections, and schedule reflect that God penetrates into every area. I see so many Christians-even Christian leaders-who seem fine in church on Sunday but their lives outside church are falling apart because Jesus hasn’t accessed every area. They aren’t free. They are dealing with addictions, hiding sin and dysfunction, and living their lives for immediate gratification. It’s like the blind leading the blind. God is calling Christians, and especially Christian leaders, to a new place of being set apart and wholly fit for His purposes.
Q: Do you think getting fit is easy?
J: Aristotle said that “the bravest person is the one who overcomes his own desires more so than the person who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is the victory over self.” Fitness is the lifestyle (daily practice) of overcoming your fleshly desires and submitting to God. Anyone who says that’s easy is in denial or on heavy meds. In fact, I think it is just as hard to live for your faith as it is to die for your faith (if not harder), because living for God requires a daily death to self. There is nothing pretty, easy, or light-hearted about death. But the cool thing is that God takes our hard work of sacrifice and delayed gratification, and makes us free (fit!) and able to be used. He then fills us with purpose, passion, and peace. Sacrifice becomes joyful success in Him.
Q: Why is fitness important?
J: I once saw a sign on a video game that said, “Play until you win.” Getting fit isn’t instant success, it’s a process, but one that we must keep at until we master. I think as believers, we have to look, act, and be free so that the world will want what we have. Christians should be the healthiest, fittest, most free people who make the world sit up and wonder why. On the other hand, if we are powerless and defeated, what’s going to attract them to our faith? Fitness is our testimony of the power of God to deliver us from bondage and addictions, and to restore us to health, wholeness, and peace in our mind, body, and spirit. Who wouldn’t want that?
Q: What have been your most difficult challenges of personal fitness?
J: My two biggest struggles have been basically…what goes into and what comes out of my mouth. Food abuse and gossip or critical/unloving words have plagued me most of my life. I will always have to work at these but God has really transformed my life in these two areas. Also, just being consistent. It’s easy to get started and hard to finish or to stick with your routine on days you don’t feel like it. But, I have some tips that have really helped me win in the area of consistency…so lets get started!