Created To Do, Not Just Be

By May 26, 2011 Blog, Life, Running One Comment

God has put each of us here for a reason, and it is not to “be” a Christian.  It is to “do” the work of Christ!  I personally have struggled many years with putting labels on myself as “not good enough”.  That translated into how I looked, what I could do, but even into the call God has on my life.  Those labels have held me back from reaching the true person God has for me to be, but more importantly, the things He has for me to do.  He did not give me a body to be criticized, but a body to go out and “do”, to “live”.  Whether this body is flabbier than I want, or my words are clumsy and awkward at times, it is perfectly capable of being the body and voice of Christ, and God has given us all this amazing ability to be “doers” of His Word.  What an amazing way to look at myself, as an ambassador!

This article I read from one of my favorite running websites reminded me that there is no label I have to live under.  I have personally been able to achieve great accomplishments in my running, and they have given me the great feeling that no matter what my body looks like, it can do amazing things.  This is true for my life as a Christ follower too.  No matter what things I feel I lack as a worship leader: charisma, eloquence etc, it doesn’t change the fact that God has given me a calling and an ability through Him to “do” amazing things for His kingdom.  So I am going to put on the confidence in knowing that and just get to work!

Ephesians 4:11

“11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers,12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”

Excerpt from article by Susan Lacke:

…..These poor choices affected me not only physically, but mentally. When I found one thing wrong with my body, the floodgates opened to criticize other parts. I was tired. I was hungry. I was frustrated. I was fat.

I was a lot of things — but happy wasn’t really one of them. By defining myself by the shape of my body, I had been cursed with a serious case of the “not enoughs:” I wasn’t thin enough, smart enough, pretty enough, or good enough.

Enough of ‘not enough’

I’m not really sure what caused my shift in thinking, but one day I decided I was tired of “not enough.” It was time to make a change. Even though I wasn’t sure I was capable of running three miles without stopping, I signed up for my first 5K race and started training.

I ran. It was hard.

I ran some more. It got easier.

I did a 5K, then a half-marathon, a marathon, and an Ironman triathlon…and with each race, my body changed.

But this isn’t a diet success story.

I didn’t sign up for my first race because I wanted to lose weight — I signed up because I wanted to cross a finish line. By being “enough” to accomplish one goal, I was “enough” to accomplish others. There’s a certain sense of empowerment that grows with each mile run and each finish line crossed.

The weight loss was a happy byproduct of this process. Though I’m thinner now, running and triathlon didn’t give me a waif-like, model-thin body, or even a ripped, muscular one.  I have a little cupcake belly, not a six-pack.  You won’t see me on the cover of Competitor Magazine, unless my editor decides it would be a hysterical April Fools’ joke.

But — and this is a big but (not butt) — I’m happy.

Running helped me see my body in a different light. I no longer get frustrated with my body for how it looks, but instead am in awe of what it can do. My little cupcake belly is the fuel tank that gets me through training and racing. My legs, which TV tells me can never be quite small enough, are what I trust to keep powering me up hills when they have every reason to quit.

My body may not be as chiseled as most of the athletes I race with, but it has the power to cover the exact same course as they can. And though I’m not cover-model material, I don’t really care. For the first time in my life, I’m happy with who I am and confident in what I can do. I finally feel like I’m enough.

This isn’t a diet success story. Stop looking for one.

When a person stops focusing on how the body looks and starts truly appreciating what it can do, it becomes obvious how those thoughts of “not enough” have limited the release of so much potential, in so many ways. It’s as simple as using the body you have to accomplish what you think it can’t. Exercise can change how the body looks, sure, but the effects on the mind, self-concept, and confidence can be so much more powerful.

There is no magic pill. There is no secret diet. There is no miracle that will get you to a perfect body.

There’s just you and what you’re capable of doing.

And that’s more than enough.

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