Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully.–2 John 1:8
Vince buttonholed me at church yesterday, calling me “Liberal,” which meant that we’re still friends. “Are you still running?” he asked me.
“No, I’ve gotten out of the habit,” I confessed.
Vince is a few years older than me, but lean and muscular, a guy who takes his physical fitness seriously without being a bore about it. “I can’t quit,” he explained, not exactly chastising me. “I’ve worked too hard to get fit to lose it all. And you can lose way too much in just a couple of weeks.”
Don’t I know it! Since January, I’ve barely put in any exercise time at all. I can feel the loss when I go up stairs and when I mow the grass. I can feel it when I fasten my belt as well. Day after day, I tell myself that I just have to get back to the gym, back to running, back to biking, back to something to reverse this trend, but as each day passes me by, I haven’t done it. When I do get back into my routine, I’ll be starting from scratch.
Part of me could say, “Well, I’m not much of an athlete, so it’s not too big a deal.” Truly, if I had been born with a marathoner’s body, then I would have wasted more over the last six months, but I have lost what I worked for. There’s a sprinter from Jamaica named Jolt–great name for a runner–who is expected to win the 100m and 200m Olympic contests this summer. I know that no matter how hard I train–or how hard I had ever trained–I could never have been a runner like Jolt. God didn’t bless me with that sort of physique, but that’s not John’s point.
John tells us not to lose what you have worked for. That’s not our salvation, which we did not work for and which we cannot lose. There are other things, however, that we have worked for, things we can lose. I’ve worked for my career, my marriage, and my financial well-being, all things that I could lose (or at least damage) in a heartbeat with the wrong foolish actions.
The same body sits here on the couch that sat here in January. It’s fatter and less fit, but it’s the same. Perhaps today is the day that I’ll get back into the routine. Or maybe tomorrow.