Please read the previous article in the Christianity and Fitness series: Intimidation.
As with most things in life, it is better to take things slowly. If you rush through things, you might miss a detail, get in an accident, or not reach the goal you are striving for.
With both Christianity and fitness, it is important to take your time so that meaning isn’t lost and your time isn’t wasted.
Psalms 1:2 says, “But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.”
What is meditating though and why is it important?
According to All About Spirituality, Christian meditation involves the believer wanting to be filled. Filled with what however? The quick answer is with God and His Word.
Are you still stuck? Check out these things to meditate on from Philippians 4:8:
- Whatever is true.
- Whatever is noble.
- Whatever is right.
- Whatever is pure.
- Whatever is lovely.
- Whatever is admirable.
- Whatever is excellent.
- Whatever is praiseworthy.
Meditation and the Bible
There comes a time and place for speed reading, but this time and place is not with the Bible. What is more important? Having read the Bible all the way through, or having read a key verse and understanding it and applying it to your life? I’m not advocating not reading the Bible. I am saying to take your time with it.
Just like you wouldn’t devour your dinner as fast as possible, it is not entirely beneficial to devour as much of the Bible as fast as possible. Take a bite, chew it slowly, swallow it, and digest it. Ask a friend what he or she thinks a verse means. Look up the verse on the Internet. Write a journal entry about it. Pray to God about the verse.
One could read through the book of Mark in less than a day if need be. Our church, for example, has been studying the book of Mark for more than a year. The book before Mark was the book of James. My church takes things slowly and makes sure we fully understand what a particular passage is talking about.
Would I have gotten as much out of James and Mark had our church just rushed through them? I remember reading each of these books rather briskly on my own time, but I never would have gotten the context and meaning just from reading them on my own. I needed to meditate on these books to get something out of them.
What Does Christian Meditation Have to do With Fitness?
Romans 7:25 says, “Thanks be to God — through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.”
Paul is talking about his mind being filled with God’s law, but his body still having a sinful nature.
Your Mind is Strong. Your Body is Weak.
You may have the goal of running five miles in your mind, but after the first mile, your body might be telling you to stop. Just as Paul has the right intentions of obeying God, his body (sinful nature) might win over. The goal is to let your mind — which is hopefully a slave to God’s law — win over.
A Soldier returning from Iraq told me that a Soldier has to endure the toughest of trials. A Soldier’s body may be incapable of performing, but the mind has to keep it going. Sometimes fitness can be all mental.
Meditation and Exercises
In one of my exercise books I have here at home, one thing that is constantly stressed is to take all exercises slowly. Meditating on exercises can reduce injury, and can also increase results.
When performing exercises — such as lifting — it is important to perform these exercises slowly and to concentrate on working the right muscles. Just as speed-reading through the Bible will not help with verse memorization, speeding through exercises will not encourage muscle growth.
One rule of thumb is to go slow if you want to build, and go fast if you want to tone. However, you have to build before you tone.
It is important to meditate, whether it is meditating on a verse or on an exercise. Meditation facilitates growth. Start building upon the foundation of Christianity and fitness, but do so slowly to ensure a strong and rigid structure.