Somehow, in the midst of bouncing from school to school, I missed the Presidential Fitness Test. I’m not totally sure how it happened but I remember being anxious for it because I watched my sister having to sweat through performing the various tasks. Apparently I switched to private school just in the knick of time and I lucked out. Never was I to suffer the public humiliation of trying to meet all those standards.
As a result of skipping the milestone, there is no documented time that I was able to do a pull-up. Because I tended to be one of those girls who flung themselves around the even bars at school, I’m guessing that at some point in my life I probably could have done one, but there’s no way to verify it. Consequently its become my goal to try to complete one. And as someone with minimal upper body strength and narrow shoulders this isn’t a task that’s easily accomplished. Slow and steady will win the race though, I’m told, and so I’m diligently embarking on a strength resistance program to build those muscles. As someone who gets easily bored with any type of weight-lifting program, it’s not easy, especially considering there’s not much of a foundation to build upon. But I figure the hard work will pay off eventually. As least I hope so.
The reason for this sudden detour in discussing my fitness routine is that recently I was struck by how different it is in God’s economy. The thought occurred to me as I listened to Chris Tomlin’s song “Everlasting God”. In God’s economy, you gain strength by waiting, not by working. Isaiah 40:31 says, “But those who who wait on their Lord will renew their strength, they will soar on wings as eagles . . .” You accomplish much by doing little. To achieve great things, you anticipate the work of another. If the same principles applied when it came to doing a pull-up, I would have been the Presidential Fitness Test long ago. But when reaching for God’s goal, its not the work that we do that matters. Its the time that we spend in anticipation of His.
I wish that patience brought upper body strength in the same way that it brought spiritual strength. Although it doesn’t, I’m glad that God’s strength doesn’t come as a result of the work I do. I would much rather that the Sustainer of All Things impart it to me as an act of grace. Any attempts on my part would be more futile than trying to do a pull-up.