Hands-on Help: Life Skills
group magazine: November-December, 2004
“Steve, in America you believe in God.
In Africa, we depend on God.”
—A pastor from the town of Bulawayo in Zimbabwe, to Steve Fitzhugh of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, quoted in Network Magazine
That Nagging Resolution
How many times have you told yourself that you’re going to exercise on a regular basis? I do this on a regular basis: I say I’m going to get disciplined in the area of discipline.
We all know that an aerobic workout relieves stress, clears the mind, cranks up some healthy endorphins, and french fries the couch potato in us. We also know that with all the other good things we’re supposed to be doing, exercise is often the one thing that gets the short end of the pogo stick. So for what it’s worth, here are a few ideas to get you sweating (no, eating really hot enchiladas isn’t in the top five).
Start slow and be realistic. Running a marathon will come later; for now just work on being consistent.
Work exercise into your life. Don’t make major changes in your schedule. I keep a few free weights in my office, and every other day I fit in time for a workout.
Be creative; don’t get into a rut. Use the changing seasons to keep you motivated. Play indoor sports in the winter, and get outside in the warmer months. Pick things you enjoy doing, and plug them into your schedule early—or the tyranny of the urgent will get you every time.
Team up with others. Let your friends help you stay on track. Walking with someone is one of the best ways to stay in shape.
Remember that something is better than nothing. Stick with it...and next time use the stairs.
When I worked as a guide for a wilderness ministry, we taught students how to use an ice axe while crossing glaciers, because knowing how to drop and dig in could mean the difference between a safe climb and serious injury or even death. Ministry has some significant parallels to mountain climbing, and one of the most universal and hazardous is the icy slope of comparison.
When you find yourself sliding down this slope, drop and dig the head of the ice axe into...
Your Calling—This is always unique and based not on what others think or do but on what God has asked of you. Don’t
confuse this with evaluating how you’re using your gifts. Self-
evaluation is different than comparison with others.
Your Heart—Remember your heart for young people. Teenagers drive us all crazy at times. Come back to your passion to see kids fall in love with Christ.
Your Source of True Joy—Your ability to reveal the character of God through your individual personality and gifts isn’t based on circumstances or how others respond.