All the Bells and Whistles

Disclaimer: This blog post will likely take a different tone than others. It is one not of condemning, but from a heart of conviction. Please understand this is a lesson that is being learned in this season.

Over the course of my life, I have noticed something about myself. I am the type of person who needs to have all the bells and whistles when participating in a hobby. I got really into craft beer, and searching out higher quality bottles of beer to enjoy. With the pursuit of ‘unicorn’ beers came along the purchasing of proper beer glassware. I mean, if you’re going to pour a $40 bottle of beer, it was going to go into the correct style of beer. At the end of the day, I wasn’t a Master Cicerone. I was just a guy with great beers and nice glassware. When it came to Crossfit, I dove straight in. Within less than a month’s time of starting at Crossfit Kindle, I was purchasing my white Nano 4.0’s. I binged on blogs, podcasts, and YouTube videos of all things Crossfit. I was scanning Rogue’s website for all the accessories I would need to ensure my elite fitness was forged correctly. When I walked into the box, I looked like I knew what I was doing. My shorts were the right length. My shirt was just fitted enough to hug my arms. My headband was set on my head with logo out, just so everyone knew that it wasn’t some chump brand. This was the headband Rich Froning wore after all!

A year and a half later, I still have to walk into the box feeling like a Crossfitter. That feeling is generated from what I look like when I walk in. This was actually the topic of a conversation with my wife. I get my confidence from the external things I have on the outside. If I am wearing my C9 shorts from Target and not my new (and often twice as costly) Reebok Speedwick shorts, my Metcon won’t go as well. And heaven forbid I forget my custom Nike Metcon 2’s. If I don’t have those on my feet, I am in trouble!

No matter what I present on the outside, what lies internally doesn’t change. A feeling my shift, but at the core of who I am isn’t dictated by the brand stamped on the collar of my shirt. I can have the gear. I can watch all the MobilityWOD videos. I can follow the right accounts. I can take all the right supplements and eat the just the right amount of carbs to be paleo. All of those externals are good. They only will make a difference in the hands of a person who has made the conscious decision to be a Crossfitter. There is a difference between the person who adds the externals to appear to be a Crossfitter, and the person who is a Crossfitter and uses the externals to be a better Crossfitter.

Do you see where this is going yet? If not, I will tell you.

Are you a Christian who does all the Christian-y things to appear to be a Christian? Or have you experienced the transforming power of the Holy Spirit in your life and those Christian-y things are just a natural inclination as you grow in your faith? The externals are not evil or bad. But if you rely on those externals to define your relationship with Christ, that is all that it will be, external. When the trials arise and the tribulation comes (this isn’t a matter of if, but WHEN), you’re externals of Spotify playlists, Instagram posts your Bible next to coffee, and the fact you ‘liked’ Jesus on Facebook will not hold to see you through to the other side. You must have your life change from the inside out.

Evaluate your life today, as I evaluate mine. Are we ‘faking the funk’ and trying to get by, or are we living as conquerers and co-heirs of Christ’s? The latter can’t be faked. The former will only last so long.

When trying to make it through a grueling workout, your Rogue headband and Metcon 2’s can only take you so far. You need that fire inside to get your through that tough WOD. And when trying to overcome the challenges of this life, your 1000 days of journaling will only be useful if you’ve had the spark of the Holy Spirit ignited in your soul. Both of these are like bells with no jingle, useless.

This is a post I’ve put off writing for a while. I’m not sure why. It must be 60% procrastination. The other 40% may be hesitation brought on by potentially convicting reality of having to face the issue at hand.





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