Sunday, April 17, 2011

Running on Empty

Have you ever
... tried running long distances with no water or food?
... powered through your workday with no sleep?
... crammed for your exams eating virtually nothing or junk food?

You can only run on empty for a finite period of time. Today I am writing about my spiritual run. For those new to my blog, I am a Christian and my faith in Jesus Christ defines who I am and how I live. I am passionate about reaching my own God-given potential and helping others find theirs, be it in school, fitness, or in life.

Recently, I have been serving in campus ministry (CCF). With the school year ending, I have been reflecting on life after CCF. As silly as this sounds, I have been in the CCF community for the past 7 years (if you include my PEY year in Seattle). It is one thing to tell the fellowship that we need to take hold of the Cross. It is another thing to have it live in your everyday life. In the mundane and in the rush. In the big and in the small. To truly take hold of the Cross and to have that truth take hold of my life.

I return now to my "spiritual run". My spiritual run symbolizes my journey as a Christian. It also represents the development of my relationship with God. Lately, I have been feeling detached. Apathetic. Dry. Weary. I have been wondering if my faith the past year was simply a show, an act put on during my role as CCF's Chair.

I went this morning to Harvest Bible Chapel. I went in skeptical and judgmental, leaving unaffected -- or so I thought. Looking from the outside, I looked like a newcomer who wanted to be left alone. During the sermon, I just sat there, contemplating on leaving multiple times. I came with the worst attitude I could think of: indifference. And God, in His mercy, showed me again what He did for me 2000 years ago. The pastor talked straight from God's Word and the message cut me straight to my core.
"For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart." -- Hebrews 4:12
All my defenses. My closed heart. My pride. The walls to my deepest emotions. All this could not defend against the sharpness of the words I heard from the Bible. The verse that was on repeat in my head was from 2 Corinthians 5:21,
"For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."
This verse kept pounding in my head over and over again. God the Father ... made His one and only Son ... sin. He took our place. Jesus bore the suffering, the shame, the punishment ... of my sin ... and of everyone who would receive Him ... so that I can be in relationship with the Almighty God.

I deserve death. Despite this, I have been justified freely (Romans 3:24). And have been offered everlasting life.

I am continuing to discover what this truly means with each day. Some people just get it. For me, it is a journey of discovery and rediscovery ... like any relationship :)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Energy Management

As I mentioned in a previous post, my goal is to now qualify for the Boston Marathon. To do this, I will need to get a lot faster. Part of my journey to Boston includes:
  • Incorporating a more plant-based diet
  • More barefoot style running
  • Working out more consistently
I recently beat Bronze (a level of the Hart House Circuit). However, I've been fairly tired as of late and have "fallen" in my more recent attempts -- or so it would seem. While my time this morning was above the 28 min cutoff, I was happy that I was able to do the dips and pull-ups without any breaks - this was something I couldn't do before. As my fitness increases, I will need less to do more.

Sometimes it isn't just about managing your time or going all out -- and then crashing after. If you're sick, exhausted, or whatever, take a step back and think about your higher level purpose. For me, my workouts serve me (not the other way around). There are times when I need to suck it up and fight through pain. Other times, I workout, get in a good sweat, and ensure I have enough energy to study or pull the un-welcomed all-nighter.

Of course, I don't like to keep holding back. And the best way to keep myself from doing this is to sleep well and eat right. This ensures an adequate amount of energy so that I am not using my energy on credit, borrowing energy that I do not have and paying it back later with interest (in the forms of exhaustion, fatigue, and health).

So whatever you hand finds to do, do it with all your might (Ecclesiastes 9:10). Take whatever you have, and do your best, whether it is getting up at 7am and going for a 10 min jog, or going and beating Platinum (the highest level of the Hart House Circuit).

Sunday, April 3, 2011

There on a Cross

Here's the lyrics to the song the choir song at church this morning. The words and music were stirring. For those who share the Christian faith or are interested in learning a bit more, I hope this blessed you as it has blessed me. (I would also post the YouTube link for this, but couldn't find it)
There on a Cross
by Benjamin Harlan

There on a cross the Savior hung in anguish
People stood shouting and calling him names
Jesus healed others, let him save himself
There on a cross God's Son was crucified

There on a cross the Savior took our shame
There on Golgotha Jesus took our blame
Father, forgive them. He cried in agony
There on a cross the Savior died for me

There on a cross the Savior bowed in sorrow
Mary stood watching as he slowly died
There on a cross, sent from above
God's sacrifice of love