In the middle of a historic time of my life I have had to make several key decisions over the past couple of weeks. Some in which, have paid immediate dividends others, well, are causing more pain then a bountiful return. Initially, these times can be hard and stressful yet, I know there is something larger going on here. A place that is building muscle, strength that is unseen. Something that goes far deeper than any musculoskeletal fiber can show through my epidermis.

My undergraduate degree is in exercise physiology. I spent a good bit of time studying the human response under physical exertion at Western Michigan University. In order to build muscle one must first break down the fibers so they may be built back up again. A little thing we like to call protein synthesis, which is the physiological break down of what goes on in ones body to see muscle become stronger and grow. I believe there is a strong correlation between the physical and spiritual in regards to this matter.

I like to call this spiritual muscle; this is something my undergraduate degree did not teach, however, come to think of it neither did my seminary. We talked plenty about spiritual formation through practice of disciplines but never about spiritual muscle. Nor did we talk about the formation of our spirituality in the face of adversity. We spent time pointing to others who dealt with it but never really stepped out and said this is how we need to handle this situation. Why is it when faced with misfortune we find ourselves giving in, rolling over and dieing? This is a tragedy, instead of standing firm and learning from what one is enduring and gaining perspective and insight, we run. Not only does this keep us from building spiritual muscle but it also keeps us from developing integrity, character, and most of all, faith!

Are we truly like Peter? Are we stepping out of the boat, walking on water and then when things get a little choppy we lose sight of where we need to be focused on? Oh, me of little faith.

So what’s next? Look behind you and see he’s had you all along. Or, look in front of you and keep walking with your eyes fixed on what God’s called us to do. Take the step, extend the muscle out so it can go through protein synthesis and rebuild after being torn down. Even if it is spiritually speaking, the growth that will come out of it will be very evident and now you will be spiritually shredded!

Well, maybe not yet.


  1. jeremy zach said...

    Push through........That is the goal. I enjoyed the break down of how the muscle builds back up.

    Although my question is when do these (either physical or spiritual) muscles finally get to exert?

  2. drew girton said...

    actually, exertion is taken place each time you take a step forward. You are exerting energy. And that will preach.

  3. jeremy zach said...


    I am not just talking about taking a step, but I am talking about playing an entire football game where there is an intensified exertion for 3 hours, not three steps.

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