Out of Shape
A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man. Proverbs 6:10,11
I used to waterski all summer when I was young. I thought I’d try it again, just to see if I could. I can’t walk now.
It wouldn’t be summer in Minnesota if I didn’t meet at least one middle-aged man in clinic with a pulled hamstring from attempting to waterski for the first time in 15 years.
Most of us have been there. We used to be able to do something, so we assume we still can. The problem, is that we have let ourselves go and time has taken its toll. We want to be in shape, but we’ve done none of the work of staying in shape. We don’t naturally improve or maintain with time. We decay.
It’s the same in other areas of life as well. If I don’t work at eating right, I inevitably eat wrong and gain weight. If I don’t continually learn new medicine, my knowledge becomes obsolete. When I refuse to work at my recovery, I risk losing it. If I don’t work at my relationship with God, I do not naturally increase my faith. Growth – in anything – is not a spectator sport.
This is the message of today’s passage. Apathy and inactivity will not take us where we need to go. It’s not that God leaves our spiritual growth up to us. He sent Jesus Christ to die so that we may be restored to a right relationship with him. He took the first, magnificent step towards us. Now though, we must respond in obedience.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might (Deuteronomy 6:5). Faith is not passive, and we do not grow by doing nothing. Daily, we must exercise our faith: reading, praying, meditating, abandoning self and obeying God. If we refuse to grow, we will naturally decay. Then, when trials strike and our faith is tested, we will pull more than just a hamstring.