Working With Weights
Your local sports club is home
to an interesting phenomenon. Every now and then someone walks in by
order of his doctor to get more exercise. Of course, he hasn't
touched weightlifting since he was in high school – 40 years ago.
The experience goes in certain places.
Phase 1 consists rather simply
of remembering that when he was in high school, he could bench press
180 pounds. Being a reasonable man, he modestly sets the bar up with
150 pounds of weight. While he is in the process of assembling those
weights some joker welds the bar to the weight bench. Something is
wrong; so we go to phase 2 – calling in the trainer.
There are two ways to identify
the trainer. The first way is look for a man with a black T-shirt
with the word "trainer" on the back in big white letters. Or you
could just look for the guy that looks like a former Marine Corps
drill Sergeant. The function of this individual is to give you a
certain amount of fright: this produces adrenaline in large
quantities and enables you to bench press a city bus.
The doctor then tells you that
you will eventually heal, but perhaps you should take it a little
easier with weights. He then asks you to be reasonable.
What does reasonable mean?
First, you need to find out your
existing, real capability. Honesty should replace memory and ego.
Second, find a trainer who can work
with that and give you some advice on what you should be doing at
Finally, work on improving your body
in a gradual manner.
The key to making it work, of course, is self
examination. This cures unrealistic expectations and deflates your
why we are told to examine ourselves in communion. We need to have a
realistic expectation of ourselves and others. Such self-examination
will tell you that you are not going to cure your faults and flaws
instantly. Nor would you cure the faults and flaws of others
instantly. Rather, you will get a little better each week.
The Lord's Supper provides you an opportunity
to examine yourself. May I suggest that as part of that
self-examination you also examine your relationships with others? It
is not sufficient to remedy those defects which only you can see.
You are a human being; you live in a society; you need to examine
your relationships with others. Then — most important — you need to
examine your relationship with God.
As you examine your relationship to God, it is
usually a good idea to start with gratitude. In your heart of hearts
thank him for what he has done at the Cross. And knowledge that he
suffered and died so that you might be freed of your burden of sin.
Thank him for the gift of eternal life. As you partake, see with
your mind's eye the body hung on the cross for you, the blood shed
on the ground for you. Give thanks as you remember.