by Randy Christensen/ October 20, 2015
I do physical performances including mime, unicycling, and circus slapstick. I’m in my 50s and my body does not react the same as when I was in my 20s. In order to do what I do, I need to stay physically fit. Just as athletes train, I also need to physically train so that I can do this performance ministry.
This summer, while doing a kids’ camp, I strained my lower back. I had not stretched, exercised, or hydrated as needed. I found myself at an emergency room in the middle of the night in excruciating pain.
I was amazed at the strain in my body after such low physical performance. Well, my doctor told me that since I had stopped exercising and stretching over the past six months, my muscles had atrophied to a point that the activity was too much for my physical condition. I could have avoided this by making a consistent physical exercise regiment a priority weeks prior to my performance.
So, I ask, “Have you ever felt strained?” Sometimes even small challenges can result in an unhealthy situation. The key is being proactive rather than reactive.
The apostle Paul says you are in a race. It’s a marathon and not a sprint. If you hydrate prior to and during the run, rather than waiting until you’re done, you’ll stay healthy rather than be wiped out.
Feeding on healthy spiritual input makes the difference in the long run, and also in the short sprint! Psalm 1 encourages you to meditate on the Word. Then you will be like a tree by streams of water. You’ll be refreshed and hydrated, not just for ministry, but in your personal life. Those who do not meditate on the Word are like a tree in the middle of a desert!
I know this: I cannot grow without healthy spiritual input. Honestly, I cannot even maintain!
I am recommitting to absorb God’s Word into my life daily. Now, that takes time. A little is better than none. So, read that “verse a day” in the morning. Listen to your favorite Bible app on the way to church. Before walking out of the office for lunch, take 3 minutes to read a Psalm. Just as we are encouraged to “pray without ceasing,” I encourage you to make the “washing of the Word,” a continual process (Ephesians 5:26).
I need this “washing of the Word” to cleanse my attitudes, to provide direction, to strengthen me in the inner man, to mold me into the image of Christ.
I know God gives grace, but I also know that as I prioritize absorption of the Word and actually discipline myself to participate in this spiritual discipline, my life is enriched. And, it is from a spiritually enriched life that effective ministry may flow. “Lord, may it be so.”