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Christian Living

Remarkable Purpose


Jessica McIntyre January 31, 2020
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Body positivity, health, paleo, keto, training, bodybuilding, athleticism… the list of buzz words in our modern-day fitness culture goes on and on. Everywhere you turn, there is a constant message impressed upon us. I mean, who even are you if you do not CrossFit nineteen times a week and drink a post-workout shake filled with the latest protein powder, BCAAs, kale, and self-deprecation?

 

In a society that believes that worth ties directly to what you can accomplish, you cannot help but fall into one of two categories: either you hop on the bandwagon, or you don’t. (A profound statement, I know). Society tells us that to live your best life, you must “do the most and be the best.” As someone who has been on both sides of the spectrum, I can testify that neither one is ideal. 

 

To provide context, let me give a bit of my story. I am a long-distance runner who began running about three years ago. With a background in soccer (go New England Revolution) and growing up as the second oldest in a family with five children, I love a good competition. My passion for running started with me trying to prove myself to the world because if you “do the most,” you get to be the best, right? Ultimately, merely being all in and being “the best” because of culture’s demands was not enough. Eventually, I lost purpose and began falling into the trap of laziness and self-pity. 

 

I want to challenge the culture’s idea that our purpose is to live for ourselves, prove our position to the world, and be defined by our accomplishments. As fundamental a truth as it is, our worth is found in something, or rather someone, outside of ourselves. Until we recognize this, we will inevitably end up in the same vicious cycle of purposelessness. 

 

Why dedicate time and effort towards something that, in light of eternity, does not seem to hold much significance in the end? If our purpose is in Christ, should we even bother with other things? The short answer is yes. 

 

Stephen Manely once said, “It doesn’t take much of a man to be a Christian. It just takes all there is of him.” Extreme? Perhaps. But still, there is an unshakable truth in those words that speaks to a purpose outside of ourselves. A reason behind what we do. A purpose in being ready “in season and out of season.” This is not a purpose rooted in selfishness, self-loathing, or even disdain for the world, but rather a mission that calls us to something higher. That purpose is to live a life for Jesus, in every aspect, wholly and completely surrendered to Him. 

 

While scripture does not demand physical fitness, it does encourage us to steward what God has given us, although our time in this life may be temporary. As Christians, we should seek to surrender every aspect of our lives to God, and I believe that our physical fitness is no exception. When surrendered to Him, our physical accomplishments will reflect and bring glory to God. 

 

Ultimately, I recognized that my purpose is not to run or even to run excellently. It is, however, to live a life worthy of the calling of which we have received in every endeavor of life. Recognizing this fact and surrendering to living a life all out for Jesus is what gives purpose and meaning in everything we do, including the seemingly mundane task of running.

 

So I dare you to go out and do big things. Whether this is running a marathon, winning a championship game, or just setting aside a few minutes to go for a walk, God can be glorified in how we use the bodies he created. Set remarkable goals, achieve impossible dreams, and remember that at the end of the day, Christ is at the center of it all. He is the ultimate purpose.

 

About the Author

Jessica McIntyre

A self proclaimed “casual jogger of mediocre talent,” Jessica (aka JMac) was introduced to the world of running in 2017 after completing her… Read More