14 May A Proverbs A Day // Proverbs 14
The 14th // Proverbs 14
When calamity comes, the wicked are brought down, but even in death the righteous seek refuge in God.”
Before I started crossfit, I had hardly spent any time in my life working out. I grew up as a competitive cheerleader, and it was so much fun I never felt like I was working out. As an adult, working out was hard, odd and uncomfortable… So I never did it. My husband, F, got me into crossfit. It ended up being the right amount of fitness, community, competition and modification for me and I liked it enough that I decided to keep going. Being able to say “I do crossfit” gave me such a boost of confidence and I loved that feeling of accomplishment.
Crossfit is hard though. Going to the gym every day is still a struggle [and it has been even more so these past few weeks, but that’s another story… Can Solomon write about putting too many things on your plate next?]. The workouts are hard and I haven’t lost a pound since I started! But slow and steady, my body changed. It became stronger. The Burpees became a little bit easier. I mastered a pull-up [2 and a half years in!] and I finally RX’ed a workout and wasn’t the last one done! I’m so thankful I stuck with it through the bad, and there will be bad workouts to come [every day] but it’s so so worth it to me.
Reading this chapter makes me think a lot about crossfit. Solomon says life is not much different than the story I just told you, just bigger. Instead of hard workouts, we’re talking bad things and hard times and instead of eventually seeing a change in my body, we’re talking about the heavenly rewards waiting for us from our Father.
Even in laughter the heart may ache, and rejoicing may end in grief. The faithless will be fully repaid for their ways, and the good rewarded for theirs.”
To me, this comparison is most easily made in verse 4 when Solomon talks about the ox. He reminds us that without the strength and hard work of the ox, the harvest doesn’t happen. It’s like slowly building strength in crossfit… it’s hard work, but it pays, just like the ox! Outside of fitness, life is the same! Pursuing wisdom requires endurance, and seeking God requires the daily decision to be different [14:6]. Walking the straight and narrow [14:12] requires a consistent yearning to grow, humility and the knowledge that you can always learn more. It requires the hard decisions to end relationships that don’t push us toward God [14:7].
The righteous are not exempt from hardships… Solomon tells us that every heart will know bitterness [14:10] and that living a good life doesn’t mean we won’t experience the grief that this world brings, but he tells us that, in the end, the good and righteous will be fully repaid in turn by God. We must be careful with each step we take, but in the end we will have joy! [14:11] [14:14] [14:18] [14:26-27]
LORD, today I thank you for all the blessings in my life. I know that seeking after you requires work from me; a daily decision to wake up and pursue you. No matter what the circumstances are in my life, you are there. You have unspeakable joys waiting for me. Please help me to remember this when times get hard and give me the strength to persevere, not just physically, but spiritually as well.