Chin Over the Bar
You might say I’m a glutton for punishment. ...
“Bodily exercise profits little, but it does profit!”
Some people think I’m crazy due to the fact that I work out so much. My response to them is always the same, “It’s Jesus and working out that actually keeps me from going crazy!” This past week alone my family experienced first-hand the tension between police and black males in this country. My uncle was shot and killed by two police officers. It was one of the most emotionally disturbing things I’ve ever experienced.
I remember one night after the tragedy just lying in bed, being tormented by my thoughts of racial tensions, persisting injustices against people of color and possible next steps. Emotionally I was done! I couldn’t put any more into my brain! I remember being beyond upset at all the people I know who talk about injustice, yet, we were struggling to meet our goal on gofundme to pay for the funeral. I was livid at all the people I knew who spoke so vehemently when people they didn’t even know were shot and killed by the police, while my family’s story couldn’t get any traction. I realized I was looking for someone to blame for this catastrophic event instead of zeroing in on the people who were actually responsible. They are the ones who should pay!
I woke up the next morning and said, “I’m going to the gym!” I went to that gym and lifted more weights than I had ever lifted. I was tired, but I need to burn off some of that frustration. I needed to release some of those negative emotions. I needed my endorphins up. I needed a momentary vacation. I needed to relieve some stress! You see, despite this awful, devastating thing happened in my family, my life does not stop. I’m still the pastor to two congregations. I’m still the parent of two small children. I remember that as my session went on I started feeling better. I could breathe a little easier. I felt like things, mentally, were falling into their proper place. I’m certain that I was able to bring a high level of focus and composure while delivering my uncle’s eulogy because exercise helped me to maintain emotional balance throughout the entire ordeal. Exercise has proven invaluable in that way so many times.
Some years ago I was doing bible work in Memphis, TN. I’ll never forget this man I met while canvassing door to door. He was working in his yard and apparently he exercised regularly. He quoted 1 Timothy 4:8 to me which states, “For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” After quoting it he said, “bodily exercise profits little, but it does profit!” His words resonate with me even today. No…not all of my stock, energies and focus go into exercise, but it does profit! No I don’t believe that working out is the be-all and end-all, but it does profit! Do I workout at least four times a week? Yes! Because it does profit! Do I try to eat right? Yes! Because it does profit!
Listen, the next time you feel stressed and overwhelmed and need to release some tension in your body and your mind, go for a walk, a jog, lift some weights or something. It will profit you…sooner or later!