Spartan Spirit

The few people that read this may not know me on a personal level, and those that do mostly know me through social media. What you may not know is that I have a new addiction. I ran my first ever Spartan Race on Feb 15, 2014. It was a 4 mile obstacle race the wound its way through Raymond James Stadium (Tampa Bay Bucs) and right through the heart of this wanna be warrior. For years I have wanted to be more manly. I’ve want to be an “Outdoors-ie” kind of guy. But, it’s always been easier to watch someone else do it. Not anymore. I had an absolute blast training and competing in the Tampa Spartan Sprint. Well, maybe competing isn’t the right word, let’s change that to finishing. Either way, it was something that I want to do again and again. I have been more active in the first 2 months of this year than I have in the previous 31 years, and I’m ok with that. During my 6 months of training I managed to loose 20 lbs, but not a penny more. Reflecting back on the last 6 months I’ve realized that I should be down 40+ lbs. But, no matter how hard you workout or train, the weight will stick around if the diet isn’t right.

As I seriously began contemplating what I can give up for lent to help kickstart a healthier lifestyle, I realized that this Diet vs Exercise dilemma has a very interesting parallel in my life, and maybe in yours.

I’d like to think that I have a Warrior’s Spirit within me, a Spartan Spirit. I would consider myself a strong Christian. I would also consider myself a strong person, physically. But am I fit? The answer is a resounding no. My christian health, much like my workout schedule, is fairly consistent. I go to church regularly. I attend a small group. I even lead a small group. I’m also a lead volunteer for the youth group. But even though I have all of that going for me I’m still not Fit. Much like a workout routine needs a strong diet to back it up, I need the bread of life to sustain me. If I’m not digging into the Word of God on a regular basis then my diet is week at best. I have no nourishment. It’s not a “30 day cleanse” when you go an entire month without reading scripture. Scripture should be my daily Fish oils, or protein shake. And, just like supplements, if I miss a day then it’s that much harder to get back into the routine.

I eat everyday. I workout 3-5 times a week. How much more full would my life be if I read Scripture everyday? If I spent time helping someone, or doing Kingdom work of some sort at least 3-5 times a week?

Just like when my diet gets out of control and the pounds come back and the energy fades, the same happens when my spiritual diet goes awry. I don’t model God’s grace like I should. I don’t love my wife like I should. I don’t treat others with the respect they deserve. I get lazy and complacent in every aspect when I stop caring about what I put in. If this is you, please take heart that you are not alone. And please don’t give up. I want to challenge myself and anyone who reads this to a 30 day challenge (those seem to be popular in the fitness world, 30 day juice fast, whole 30, etc…). I will be setting alarms, creating reminders, whatever I need to do to make sure that I get into scripture at least once a day for the next 30 days. Please join me. Let me know through a post where you are going to camp out for the next 30 days. I am going to start in Proverbs. It is my favorite, and I can really dig into what is being taught. Let’s do this!

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It wasn’t me

So one of my favorite movies when I was younger(does saying that make me old?) was Disney’s RocketMan. I thought that was the funniest movie. One scene in particular. Fred Randall(main character, aka: Idiot) is supposed to go into hyper-sleep for the trip to Mars(I love it when Disney puts out scientifically accurate films). But, before he can enter his sleep chamber Ulysses jumps in. I forgot to mention the chimp named Ulysses. Anyway, Fred has to remain awake for the 6-7 month voyage due to this mishap. When everyone else wakes from hyper-sleep, they find a mural painted with astronaut food and the spacecraft is a mess. The first thing out of Fred’s mouth, “It wasn’t me, Ulysses did it.”

Fred is a Blame-Shifter.

I am a Blame-Shifter

A blame shifter(term I learned while working under the tutelage of Jason Albright, thank 7 Habits) is someone who tries to pawn their mistakes or shortcomings on someone else. “Johnson, why isn’t that report on my desk” “Well, Alice was supposed to let me know what font you wanted it in, but never got back to me, so I couldn’t type it up yet.”

I blame shift with God all of the time. Like with my bible challenge. “I haven’t had time Papa, I’ve been busy with work, and family.” B.S. I have had time, or I could have at least made time. I want to blame something or someone for not doing what I know needs to be done.

I think we all blame-shift. In fact, I know we do. It’s a heck of a lot easier than taking responsibility for our actions and choices. But, I don’t want to anymore. I want to back up what I say with what I do. If I say that I am going to read through the Bible then that’s what I am going to do. Now if I say that I am going to try out for the Steelers, make the team, and take Troy Polamulo’s job then I have obviously lost all touch with reality. But I want to be someone of integrity, even if it’s only between me and Papa. For some reason that no one seems to understand, we try to blame-shift Papa more than anyone else. I guess our feeble minds can’t repeatedly grasp the fact that He knows everything. If I’m not loving my neighbor it doesn’t matter to Papa that he sneezed on my driveway 3 years ago while I was cutting grass and throwing the mulch in his yard.

If we take the ability to blame-shift out of the equation then life get’s “too hard”. Well, that’s life. Life was never promised to be peachy-kine(broccoli, Veggie-Tales). Will you accept the “Hard Life” with me?

My name is Jason, and I’m a sinner saved by grace and covered by the blood of the lamb.