Designed to Change

Written by Paul Chisholm (Colorado, USA)

Paul Chrisholm is a pastor of The Salvation Army in Fountain Valley, Colorado. Coming from a life on the streets, he has experienced God’s redemptive and transformative power. He loves to bring the Gospel message to all people, making disciples of all nations!

June 28, 2022

In the fall of 2021, I started my bulking season with the intention of building more muscle and widening my frame.
My bulking plan sounded fantastic in my head: I was going to eat 2,000+ calories a day, 300 grams of protein and then lift extra heavy with low reps.
I’ll be honest, as I was coming off a shredding diet which includes as few calories as possible along with lower weight, higher reps and a ton of cardio, this bulking plan sounded amazing and I was genuinely looking forward to it! 

So, I started out with determination and right away, let’s just say I realize how difficult it is to eat that many calories and protein, and then lift heavy, which was actually to my surprise… VERY HEAVY!
Nonetheless, I stuck with the plan, and by January, I started to see results.
I was pleasantly surprised and planned to keep it up till spring before restarting my shredding season again. 

Wouldn’t you know, that near the end of January it happened; life showed up.
I was forced to switch my workout time from AM to PM to accommodate the new changes that were happening in my life.
What felt like an easy task turned out to be a complete disaster!
You see, I’m a single dad and the childcare service at my gym never had any PM openings for my daughter and this made going to the gym very difficult.
As a result, over the next 3 months, my bulking season was forced to be put on hold, but I had gotten used to eating the 2,000+ calories, lifting heavy and doing very little cardio.
Within those 3 months, my body was no longer burning enough, and I started to put on extra weight; not the muscle weight that I was trying to attain but just pure, flappy, body weight. 

As I looked in the mirror, watching my body transform from healthy to not-so-healthy, I started to think about my personal devotional life and my walk with the Lord.
This is the thought that came to me that I wanted to share:

Ecclesiastes 3:1, NIV

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:” 

What truth there is in the verse above!
There is a time for everything, a season for every activity.
I can agree with that as I look at the seasons change here in Colorado, the green leaves turn to fall colours, then the leaves fall and the snow comes, then the snow melts and the green buds begin to sprout and as the weather warms up, the green comes back.

Now, I know you’re probably thinking, “Yes, we have seasons in life. So what?” 

This is what really got me: although I was in my bulking season, changes in life’s circumstances required me to change my routine.
My inability to change in terms of the way I ate, the type of exercise that I performed and the number of days that I could get to the gym ultimately led to my body going from solid and healthy to flappy and unhealthy.
What I am trying to get at is this, as the seasons change in our spiritual life, so must our routine.
What got us to this point in our walk and relationship with God won’t always carry us through the next season of our journey with God. 

We must adapt, we must change, we must reevaluate what we are doing to be purposeful in strengthening and developing our relationship with God.
If you have been a Christian for quite some time and you are still doing the same routine, devotional book, prayer schedule, type of prayer, etc. ask yourself:

  1. Are you really growing? 
  2. Are you really changing as God changes you? 

I’m not saying that routine is bad, but are we changing it as we grow and develop with God as the Holy Spirit transforms you from the heart out? 

Are you a brand-new Christian, full of vigour and gusto to deepen your relationship with God?
If so, don’t lose that vigour but be aware that at some point, you are going to grow and need to look to other options to continue developing as a healthy Christian. 

Let us not get stuck in the same routine and become flappy, unhealthy, mediocre Christians. Let us become strong, fit, spiritually buff Christians!

Prayer and Reflection

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for who you are and all that you are doing in my life. Seasons in my life may come and go, but you promise Lord that you are a God that remains the same yesterday, today and forevermore. You are Lord over all the times and the seasons. Sorry Lord for the times when I have been complacent in the development and strengthening of my relationship with you. Help me Lord to purposefully adapt, change and evaluate the routines in my life so that I can continue to grow in you as the Holy Spirit transforms me from the heart out. 

Amen

Reflection:

  • What are some areas in your spiritual life that have become a routine?
  • What can you do differently in those areas to continue to deepen your relationship with God?

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