No Pain, No Gain

Tis the season to eat gluttonously and then, as with buyers remorse, frantically run to the gym to work it off. Yup, it's that time of year.  It's always so much harder to get back to the gym after you haven't been there in a while. A long while. So last week as I was doing my abs class, I was pleasantly surprised that within the first 20 minutes I wasn't actually gasping for air, I was on top of my game, actually pushing myself! I looked back at my my husband with a humble brag, "I can't believe I'm not even tired!" And then it happened...mountain climbers. My body slowly disintegrated before me eyes, and I do not mean a good "I'm getting skinny" disintegrating. I mean all of the life had just been sucked out of every muscle in my body and I looked like a fish out of water flopping around trying to get my body to cooperate. All of a sudden I was eating my words.  The rest of the class was a bit of a blur. Between the wall sits and side planks I'm quite sure I was unconscious. My only goal was finishing. 

The whole experience reminded me of my present spiritual state of mind. It's so exciting when God gives us new ideas and reveals greater plans for our lives.  We start out with so much gusto, so much vigor. Soon, we realize that the words He spoke are a lot easier to believe when they are written on the pages of a book versus being written on our lives.  What looked like a cakewalk had now become a 17,000 foot mountain and we hear ourselves saying "I didn't sign up for this."  And in that moment, the spirit of defeat begins to take root in our hearts. But God designed us to win. He designed us to finish.  We are more than conquerors through Christ. (Romans 8:37) When we finish we win, because the race we run isn't against an earthly opponent, rather ourselves.  With every mile we run and cliff we conquer, we allow God to create in us the character that is making us more like Him. When we finish and look back at what we've conquered, we realize it wasn't about overcoming the obstacle at all.  It was about who we became through the journey.

After last nights college football championship between Clemson and Alabama, Coach Nick Saban talked about how there was one word that he grilled into his team this year.  One word that would become their credo.  That word was "finish".

Wherever you are in life today, God has created you to win.  He created you to "finish"!