I have a goal to become the Air Force’s fittest Chaplain. This is a made-up game I created with no real award, but I created it because I am driven by competition. By nature, I am a competitive person, and I wanted to create a way to compare myself to my peers in terms of good stewardship of body. The sport of CrossFit allows me to tap into that competitive drive and work with the best athletes around me.
However, though there can be healthy competition, sometimes it can be distorted and misused. For example, when I was a young boy, I was considered a “poor sport” by everyone who knew me. Pouting, shouting and angry stomps were common for me after a loss. Even today — for the longevity of my marriage — my spouse and I do not play board games against each other because we are too competitive and both hate losing.
However, fitness is not a mononym for physical superiority. Fitness can include your mental, physical, social and spiritual pillars. It does not matter how fast I can run if I do not have my spiritual foundation set upon my God to endure difficult seasons of life.
If I am to be the Air Force’s fittest Chaplain, then my competitive drive must leak into my spiritual care and fortitude. I must have zeal for my spirituality that makes sure I am just as ready as — or potentially more ready — than the Airmen beside me.
In my faith tradition, the Apostle Paul writes to a young man named Timothy, “for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” If we do not have the drive to hold fast to our spiritual core tenants, then the rest of our “house” will begin to crumble, because we will lose the drive to know who we are and what we are for. We lose the drive for this present life and the life you hope to discover down the road.
Do more than be competitive with your physical fitness. Be competitive with your spiritual fitness too, because it is of value in every way as it holds the promise for the present life and (depending on your faith tradition) the life to come.
For more information about Luke AFB Chaplain Corps programs and events, “like” us on Facebook @ Luke AFB Chapel. Feeling like you need to talk? Give us a call: 623-856-6211.