I (once again) joined a gym last week.  I am getting back into shape (other than round), and with winter coming, it will get a little iffy riding my bike.

I was talking with the owner about his spiritual journey.  He is a Christian, but is discouraged because he thinks he should be further along in his walk with God.  I asked some questions about when he first started to work out and how he works out now.  He smiled and told me it was pretty pathetic at the beginning and now it is much better.  Then I asked if he was done working out, he laughed.  He told me that he could always do better, that he pushes himself every work out and he never expects to be “done”.

I told him he should look at his spiritual journey the same way.  When God first got a hold on him, spiritually speaking he was pretty puny.  Now he is much stronger, but he is not yet “done”.  In fact he ought to think about his spirituality as never being done until he is in Jesus presence.

He asked if God were somehow disappointed with him.  I asked if he saw my “workout”.  He said he was watching me.  “What did you think?”  He told me that for someone in my shape (round), and my age (had to go there), I worked myself pretty hard.  He said he could see that I had been trained in how to lift and that in no time; I will be a lot further along.  I thanked him and I told him, that is exactly what God thinks about his progress.  For a guy with his (spiritual) experience, he is asking the right questions and in due time he will be a lot closer to God than he is now.  His phone rang and I needed to go get a shower.

While I was getting ready to head back to the office, the encouragement I received from him hit me.  I am really not looking forward to working out like this – really.  I know in my head that I will make progress, and eventually, you will notice the incredible shrinking pastor.  But in my heart I am already fighting the idea that had I continued to work out like this when I was younger (now I had to go there), I would be a lot further along.

God reminded me that the things I told him about his spiritual journey are just as true for me in my physical one.  Funny how He can encourage the encourager isn’t it?