Do you go to the gym? I don’t. Or at least I haven’t in a million years. Yes, one million. But that doesn’t mean I don’t work out! I totally work out in my guest bedroom, and sometimes on my front porch. I subscribe to a gym online, because that’s just what we do in the world today- everything is online- and it totally does the trick and kicks my butt. The website is zuzkalight.com if you’re curious, you’ve got 20 minutes and want to feel motivated by the leanest body you’ve ever seen.
But I’m not here today to talk about your physical fitness. I’m here to talk about your faith fitness. Have you ever met someone (maybe in the mirror this morning) who is just lukewarm about life? Maybe they’re a little negative? Can only see bad things happening around them? Maybe they stay pretty trapped in the status quo for fear of the risk involved in stepping outside of that comfort zone?
Y’all where is the faith? Why are we so focused on all the potentially negative outcomes of every single thing we could possible do? ‘What if I fail? What if it doesn’t work? What if people think x, y or z? What if it rains?’
Readers, what if none of that crap happens? What if we just believed in positive outcomes? What if we refused to believe that when it rains it pours? What if the real truth is- when you start to see the rain, all you can see is the damn rain?
It’s time for some of us to get our behinds to the faith gym! I don’t know if you know this, but when you do find yourself at the gym, or in your guest bedroom working out… do you even realize that 90% of the muscle you build in that work out happens in the ONE rep that you can hardly complete? Today, I did four sets of 10 bicep curls with a heavier weight than I usually use. It wasn’t the first, second or even third set that did me in. It wasn’t even the fourth set as a whole… it was rep 8, 9 and 10 of that fourth set where 90% of the muscle was actually created. It was those few reps where I could hardly get my arm to raise back up that did the real work of the whole thing.
You see, when you’re building a muscle, you have to bring the fibers in the muscle to absolute fatigue. My friend Tori says you have to actually begin to tear them- thus the inability to continue to lift that weight- and the healing of those torn fibers is what actually makes the muscle stronger.
All the magic happens… just beyond that comfort zone. Just past the point where it’s manageable. Without those few steps beyond what you know you can do for sure, the entire work out is basically pointless.
The same is true in life, Y’all. The same is true in our faith. If you’re not practicing flexing that faith muscle, if you’re not bringing yourself to the point of being torn so that you can be healed and made stronger… than you’re not growing. And the result of that is a whole world of people who are afraid and on fire for nothing. We’re becoming a people who’ve got no faith to lean into. We’ve got nothing positive and God sized to believe in!
Maybe you don’t believe in God and so you feel this message isn’t for you (if you’re even still reading) but here me on this one: Yes, I am encouraging those of you who believe in God to stretch and tear and make stronger your faith in God… but I’m also talking to those of you who simply have a pulse (which is to say ALL OF YOU). Faith is believing in that which you cannot see. So yes, that’s God, but it’s also a positive outcome. It’s also success in an area of your life that you struggle to step out in. It’s also winning instead of losing, even when you don’t know how to play. It’s also having courage, which is feeling the fear and doing it anyway. Courage requires faith, right? We need a world with more courage.
We need to run, not walk, to the faith gym!
We need to stop leaning into our excuses- I’m too busy, it’s not the right time, maybe when things slow down, that’s just not me, etc.- and we need to start stepping out in FAITH! Because the one million ordinary, only kind of hard, mildly challenging things we do in our day and with our life are just not cutting it. I don’t mean to minimize your ‘getting through the day’ because trust me, I run a multi-million dollar business, own a farm, homeschool three kids and write for a living… I get it!!!! Life is flipping hard!! But if it’s already hard, what’s one more step into the hard? What’s one more ‘rep’ beyond what we thought we could do?
Sometimes it’s that one extra step… where 90% of the magic happens. Yes, that one more step might break you… but it’s the only thing in the world that’s going to change you.