Why Do I Do This to Myself?

Last Saturday I joined our St. Mary’s team (20) and thousands of others north of Barrie to experience Tough Mudder. This was my second go round at this craziness.

For those of you who are not sure what this is let me explain. Tough Mudder is an endurance event series in which participants’ attempt 16–19 km military-style obstacle courses. It was designed and created by a British Harvard Business School postgraduate and a former corporate lawyer, and tests mental as well as physical strength. The obstacles often play on common human fears, such as fire, water, electricity and heights (are you ready to join me yet?). The first Tough Mudder was held in 2010. To date, over two million people have participated worldwide. For those who want a visual follow this link to get a taste. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LGNR_Hmhmk)

I spent the summer training in the heat and humidity running up and down the hills in St. Mary’s, so this really begs the question again: Why do I do this to myself? That’s a fair question, one I have pondered. So here are my reasons.

The first is fitness. I really do believe that taking care of your physical body is a stewardship from the Lord. After all, our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19) not a personal amusement park.

The second is about goals. I remember once reading a quote from Bo Jackson (former baseball player) who said: “Set your goals high and don’t stop till you get there.” My challenge to do Tough Mudder came from Bob Smibert. At first I thought there is no way I could do that! I am grateful for his encouragement and training that got me started. What goals are you setting for your Christian life this coming year?  Without goals you will go nowhere. Can I challenge you with one goal for the upcoming season of life? Pick up the 5X5X5 Bible Reading Plan put out by the Navigators. It is a plan that starts you out reading the bible for 5 minutes a day, for 5 days out of the week, and recommending 5 different ways to dig deeper. It will take you through the New Testament in a year. If you are not in the habit of reading the bible, why not set a goal and seek to get there? (https://www.navigators.org/Tools/Bible%20Study%20Resources/Tools/The%20Bible%20Reading%20Plans)

My third reason for doing Tough Mudder is the camaraderie. The teamwork and friendships that are developed during the training and the event itself are really encouraging. There are two things that I take from this: The first is that salt is never effective if it is left in the saltshaker and light is of no value if it is not introduced into the darkness. Jesus was clear; our lives are not to be lived in our holy huddles:

Matthew 5:13-16 13 You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.

14 You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

I survived the run and actually felt great the remainder of the week. So for those of you who prayed, thanks!

See you Sunday,

Pastor Byron