WOD (Workout of the Day):
- Lunge with weighed bar t to first cone. Hold the weight overhead and walk balk to start.
- Lunge with weighted bar to second cone. Overhead walk back.
- Lunge with weighted bar to the third cone at the end of the street. Overhead walk back. (Women: 45-65lbs. Men: 65-95lbs)
I go to Get Lifted Gym, and every day- like all Crossfit gyms- we have a WOD written out on the board. It is a series of tasks that has to be completed as quickly as possible. Last Saturday’s WODs was so deceiving. It looked easy, but it was one of the hardest I have done- it was the first time I didn’t think I could finish, and pretty much everyone else felt the same way.
I was pouring sweat, and I had to take it one lunge step at a time. It felt like someone was playing a cruel trick on us and moving the cones further and further back, leaving us to endlessly lunge. I was out there FOREVER! I had 65 lbs on my back and I had to put it down and rest after every 10 steps. It got me thinking- it’s funny how we train ourselves to cope with physical pain, but in life, when trials come we so often abandon our walk of faith.
Have you ever wondered how Jesus felt when he was carrying his cross? The complete cross weighed about 325 pounds. The crossbeam that Jesus carried on his outstretched arms weighed about 125 pounds. He carried this after being beaten with a whip embedded with shards of metal, bone, and pottery. I can’t even begin to imagine the pain that he endured. Yet, it is in the most gruesome of stories that God wrote His love letter to us. It was a cross that only Jesus could bear, and it was only by carrying his cross that God’s will could be done. We no longer have to spend eternity in hell because Jesus was willing to carry his cross.
As followers of Christ we have been commanded to take up our crosses (Mark 8:34). The weight on my shoulders felt heavy, but the cross I bear daily is even heavier. The WOD was almost a physical manifestation of our spiritual walk in life. There were people of all shapes and sizes working out, and everyone was carrying a different weight according to what they could handle. Some people had to be scaled down to a 30 lb bar, while others scaled up and carried over 100 lbs. Regardless of the weight each person was carrying, it was difficult for everyone: every person felt pain, every person felt discouraged. It’s the same in life: every person has a different burden they must bear according to their capabilities. Just like the trainer will not give anyone more weight than they can handle, God will never give you a cross that you cannot carry- He will only give you what will make you stronger.
Every time I put the weight down, everything in my body screamed to leave it there and call it quits. I felt like the cone was mocking me, like I could never really reach it. I had to remind myself of the end goal- I had to remind myself that the trainer would not have given me something I couldn’t do- I had to remind myself that finishing would make the pain all worth it. Everyone goes through trials that drive them to the point of despair. Along the way, it is so tempting to drop our cross and just leave it there. But we have to look be able to see God’s promise at the end of our struggle. We have to remember the God of all creation is on our side. Sometimes we have to stop, but then we remember God’s promise; we remember that He has only given us what we can handle; and we remember that our blessing will be greater than our storm. We remember and we pick our cross back up and press forward. We press forward when it looks as if there is no hope, when those little orange cones are nowhere in sight. We press forward knowing that where we are going will be better than where we came from. We press forward knowing that we are part of a larger plan. We must remember and press forward or we will break under the weight of our cross.
Pick up your cross and remember the source of your strength.
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day.” (2 Timothy 4: 7-8)