“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” philippians three:fourteen
“I just want to keep progressing.” This is something I’ve constantly heard my fiancé say. Many times after a work out. We will debrief and talk about how we felt, what we did, and what we can work on. Every time we would do this, she would say something about not being strong enough and wanting more. My reply, every time, is that you just got better. You made progress today. When it comes to Crossfit or fitness of any kind, when you show up, that’s progress. Half the battle is won when you show up. Then when you show up, you work. Are all days one’s for the record book? Not at all! We talk about this in “Highlight Reels”. But they still count for something. There are varying degrees of progress and work, but that’s for another day. Progress is a funny thing. As long as you’re working, it’s always there. Now let’s not confuse progress for results. Results are a different animal. Results are the product of progress. They don’t always show up like progress. But one day, you look in the mirror, and see something different. Or you go for that new 1RM, and crush that old PR. Maybe it’s the ever elusive ring muscle up and all your practice comes together for you to nail it. Results take a lot of progress, but the pay off is well worth the wait.
Progress doesn’t always work the way we want it to either. We want to do nothing but earth shattering PRs every time we show up. We want everything to fall in line. We want to deadlift our 1RM everyday, and if we don’t, we feel like an utter failure. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Progress isn’t linear like that. And yes, you can go backwards as your progress. You might squat 300# one day, then the next drop 50#. That’s okay. You’re work out wasn’t a wash. You still moved forward though it seemed otherwise.
Have you thought about your progress and results as it relates to your walk with Christ? Much of the same applies. You show up each day. Consistently doing what you need to do to accomplish the goals you’ve set out in growing with Christ. And then as you begin to make your way down the narrow path, you begin to reflect on who you were and who you are, and you’re amazed. You look in the mirror and can’t recognize the person standing there because you’ve been transformed. When Moses went up the mountain and caught a glimpse of God’s glory, he was changed! When we stand in the presence of God long enough, seeking Him, we too will change.
Let’s not be misled though. Progress spiritually still works the same as physically, with one exception that brings hope. As you move toward God and looking more like His Son, you will have set backs, downfalls, and slip ups. One day you’re on the mountain top, then suddenly, the next day your wallowing in the valley. This doesn’t mean you’ve lost the fight. You are simply experiencing the full breadth of progress. Remember that exception of hope too? James tells us that as we draw near to God, He draws near to us.(james four:eight) As you grow physically, it’s on you. People can help in external ways, but ultimately it’s about your effort. When we are growing spiritually, God meets us where we are. When we move toward Him in our brokenness, He closes the gap. So you aren’t working alone. And the progress you are making isn’t only yours, it the work of God in you blessing the effort you put forth. So when you look in that mirror and can’t recognize the person in it, your praise is directed heavenward, not inward.