Fitness is a quiet, static noun in the present moment, bearing evidence of a well-trod pattern of strain, grit and discipline against sometimes unbearable forces of gravity, friction, distraction and doubt. For the future, it foretells readiness to match or conquer a known or unknown foe.
What are you training for? Everyone is training toward something by the very nature of how they live their life.
MMA fight? The more you train toward specific opponents, learn their moves, and develop your own, the more fit to fight you’ll be.
Mountain climb? Carve a realistic path toward a specific summit, plan for all contingencies, learn from experts and train your mind and body to maximize your chances of making it to the top.
CrossFit competition? Prepare to battle an army of enemies, each soldier bearing a unique weapon designed to make most falter and splinter as you approach the limits of human capacity. Broaden the scope. Imagine the tests on game day, then create them in your box and in the hills. Systematically press the extremes and leverage the support of your faith, training partners, coaches, food, and sleep so you’re ready.
Life? While the tests above challenge us to prepare in a way that develops useful fitness and discipline, Paul warns against seeing life on such simple terms. How do we prepare for this war that often deceptively rages around us with eternal consequences? The answer is in God’s Word:
God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.
Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.
Ephesians 6:10-18 (The Message translation)