As my palms began to sweat and my muscles began to tremble, I started to doubt that I could actually accomplish the task set before me. I prayed that God would help me in winning this epic battle between man and machine. And although I was only thirteen years of age, I knew that this moment could define the rest of my life as a man.
As my friends gathered around me in amazement they shouted, “you’ve almost got it” and “keep going!” And while my body began to shake and the sweat continued to drip from my forehead, I put all my strength and effort into one last attempt.
Slowly my arms began to rise along with the on looking eyes of my fellow companions. Inch by inch I climbed the ladder of manhood, until I finally accomplished the task that had been set before me. My friends cheered, and my heart jumped with excitement. Yes, you know exactly what I just did…
I benched the bar…
Now, don’t get me wrong. I know the bar only weighs about 45 pounds, but hey… I was only thirteen. This was a huge accomplishment for someone my age and size. And compared to the others kids on the block, I just showed them what real manliness looks like. Ok… maybe not “real manliness,” but you get my point.
As I scroll through the memories of my childhood, this is one those moments I won’t forget. Why? because I’m pretty sure it was the first time I had ever lifted weights. And I had accomplished the first goal ever set before me.
And while lifting weights, getting buff, and drinking protein shakes makes you a “man” in today’s society, I don’t necessarily think that’s all God is focused on. In fact, I know it’s not what He is focused on.
I am not saying there is anything wrong with getting ripped and wearing cut-off t-shirts. But what I am saying is this:
Manliness is not defined by how much you can bench, but rather where your faith stands in the midst of a seemingly impossible situation.
1. When you find out your child has cancer, I don’t think your muscles are going to help bring any sort of restoration or comfort to your families current situation.
2. When you have $50,000 in student loans and no money to pay them, I don’t think how much you can bench is going to matter to the debt collector on the other line.
Need I continue?
There is nothing wrong with getting huge and pumping iron. But don’t let an outward appearance trick you into thinking you don’t need God.
Whether you can bench the bar or a bus, God cares more about the faith in your heart.
Psalm 31:24 - Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.
- Jarrid Wilson