Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
This might look like the beginning of a post about resting in fitness, but it is not. In fact, it is a post about work—hard work.
I have been thinking about hard work lately. Recovering from an injury to my back made all of my fitness “work” go from requiring what one would consider a normal amount of effort to requiring more than I thought I could give. Sometimes, knowing that I could not do what I once could and even being unsure what I COULD do made me feel like just giving up. I questioned if it was even worth it.
When you used to do more or feel like you should be able to do more, it is hard to do less. I think, “It’s all or nothing, I can’t do all of my workouts anymore..so maybe do nothing?!”
But I know this is not what God wants from me. As it says in His word, “NOTHING is impossible for God.” When I choose to do nothing, I am not only denying that God can work through anything in my life, I am also missing the opportunity to share God’s strength through my own weakness.
“All or nothing” is not about whether or not I can do “all” of what I could do before or “all” of what the exercise experts tell me I “should” do to keep myself healthy. Giving my all means giving it everything I have to give today. That may not be as much as it was yesterday and it may be more than I can give tomorrow, but each day, I give it my “all.”
I have a friend who says it like this, “When I put my head on the pillow at night, I look back on my day and say, ‘I did the best I could today. I gave it everything I had. It was my best- for today.’”
In sports, fitness, and life, I think it’s important to know at the end of the game, workout, or well, the end– that I left it all on the field, that I gave it all I had, that I was “all in.”
When I think about “all or nothing” it is no longer about me, what I can give. Rather it is about what God has given me through His Son. Jesus is my “all in all” without Him I am nothing. I can do ALL things through Him who gives me the strength to do it. In Him, the “work” becomes easy and the “workload” becomes light.