If you have read any of my previous blogs you know that I am a huge supporter of premier training environments. I have always ended up falling into good training environments since I picked up a barbell in eighth grade. Having moved back to Georgia I could not have found myself in a better environment training with the current American recordholder in my weight class and my number one competitor. What works out even better is that he is a great man and good friend in tandem with being a good competitor. However the last four weeks have been an awesome reality check for me. Since graduating high school I have not gotten to train regularly with someone who is consistently better than me while at the same time also comparable to my weight class. Basically I have lacked true competition in training since I left high school. Having that benefit back again, now that I am training with Caleb Williams, has done worlds for both my humility and also my perspective. It's one thing to going to the gym every day and try to match your competitor lift for lift. My goal every day is to match his best clean and jerk or his clean and jerk work for the day with a 10 kg handicap. Caleb is an excellent reminder of where I am as an athlete and how much room I have yet to grow.
In first Corinthians 15, Paul speaks with some of the same perspective. Paul, being one of the most famous and arguably effective missionaries and the majority writer of the New Testament, calls himself unworthy to be an Apostle and the lesser of the Apostles. This is a man who the Bible reveres to be God's chosen missionary to the Gentiles. And yet he called himself lesser. He called himself lesser because he is humbled and surrounded by men who walked with Jesus. Despite his accolades, despite the calling on his life, despite his miraculous conversion, he's surrounded by men who literally saw Jesus in the Transfiguration. Paul, with every reason to speak highly of the work the Lord did through him, calls himself lesser than the Apostles around him. His surrounding partners in the Gospel give him perspective. They keep him humble. Paul was a great man working for the good of the Gospel and yet the Lord was gracious enough to him to surround him with perspective. Paul got to see the Lord work mightily through many other Apostles and servants of the early church. In the same way that I get to see Caleb do magnificent things in front of me on a daily basis, Paul got to see God work mightily through others on a daily basis. It gives us both perspective and it keeps us both humble.
My advice to each of you is to be surrounded by people who both encourage and build you up but also help you keep proper things in perspective. More often than not environments keep us humble, circumstances keep us humble. Don't be afraid to be surrounded by this type of perspective.
~ Coach Spencer