During one of the exercises, Tony says he doesn’t use weights even though he could because he wants to be like us. If he did I might be intimidated. And it’s true, I don’t use weights – the routine is hard enough, at least so far.
Jesus came to earth to be like us. He was God but he was also fully human (hard to understand but true). One of my favorite places in the Bible is Philippians 2 that says even though Jesus was God he didn’t hold on to being God. He became a human, with all that goes with it.
When Jesus was arrested, Peter tried to come to his defense by cutting off the ear of a guard. As he healed the ear, Jesus said he could have called legions of angels at any time but he didn’t. He could have blown everyone away with just a breath, but he humbled himself, submitting to the human experience, including death. He gave us the perfect example of living in the Spirit and being empowered by the Spirit while being completely human. Jesus showed us the way to live in total trust and dependence on his Father. What an amazing thing he did, when he emptied himself of his divinity to be just like us.
Part of my exercise routine is doing a Tony Little ab work out. You may have seen him on infomercials. He makes me laugh but sometimes what he says makes sense and even expresses a bit of spiritual wisdom. I call it the Wit & Wisdom of Tony Little. During one stretching exercise he tells me: only go as far as you can go. I always reply, well of course I’m only going to go as far as I can go. I can’t go as far as someone else!
He’s right – we often make the mistake of comparing ourselves to others. But doesn’t the Bible tell us not to do that, and not to try to be someone we’re not? We’ve each been given our own unique gifts and I know from experience it’s best to work in my area of giftedness and not try to work outside. I’m not saying stretching isn’t good because it is and helps us grow. Even when I work out I always try to stretch farther, but I know I’m just not good at some things.
So thanks for the reminder, Tony, to only go as far as I can go – and not try to be what I’m not.
“We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise” (2 Corinthians 10:12, NIV).
I wrote this poem on 4/20/01 at the Springs, as a sacrifice of praise to God.
“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name” (Hebrews 13:15, NIV).
The greatest gift
The greatest love
Was given to me
By God above
The greatest joy
The greatest peace
Comes from my God
Who died for me
What can I say
What can I give
To the One
For whom I live?
I’ll give my life
I’ll follow you
You’ll be my Lord
My Way, my Life, my Truth.