I began 2018 by purchasing a new fitness tracker.
I now wear it on my wrist, everywhere I go.
Fun fact: I have the wrist of a 12-year old girl.
This amazing device keeps up with my heart rate, calories, and steps; it monitors my sleep patterns, tells me the weather, and it keeps up with how many questions my kids ask me while we’re in the minivan. Ok, that last one isn’t true, but it would be cool if it did.
My fitness tracker even tells me to “Move!” every couple of hours, so that I will maintain a certain level of activity throughout the day. This has inspired some impromptu jumping jacks in my kitchen, much to the surprise and delight of my children.
My fitness tracker is connected to a couple of apps on my phone, and I am now earning “points” with my health insurance company that can buy me free stuff AND get my family a discount on our insurance! Pretty cool.
If my calculations are correct, this fitness tracker will literally pay for itself within the first few months of using it. Why can’t my children do that? Oh well; I’ll still keep them, I guess.
When it comes to fitness trackers, I would guess that there are two basic approaches that a person might take towards them:
APPROACH #1: To USE one, for the purposes of motivation, encouragement, and challenge.
A fitness tracker (at least the one I bought) sets daily goals for you, and celebrates when you meet those goals. For example, when I met my “steps” goal yesterday, little digital fireworks went off on my tracker and I got pretty excited:) I even got some digital “trophies” this morning for running my fastest mile and fastest 5K. Full disclosure: it was my FIRST mile and my FIRST 5K since I got the device, but the trophies were still pretty cool.
Since I know that my workouts are being recorded and sent to my insurance company, I am even more motivated to keep going to the gym so that I can receive those benefits.
APPROACH #2: To NOT use one, and to be critical of those who do.
Up until a few days ago, I did not wear a fitness tracker. There were two basic reasons for this:
I did not realize how helpful and motivating they could be
I did not need something to tell me how much I WASN’T doing during the holidays (and before I started getting more fit)
Since a fitness tracker keeps up with so much information, what happens if/when I DON’T meet my goals? What happens if/when I STOP going to the gym or if I refuse to “Move!” when I’m told? If I already know that I’m not taking enough steps during the day; or that my heart rate is never elevated for longer than it takes me to get to the fridge and back to the couch, then I’m not going to want a fitness tracker. I might even make fun of the people who use them so that I can feel better about my own lifestyle.
Honestly, this is probably the reason why many people don’t even HAVE a fitness tracker. They have no intention of getting/staying fit, so they don’t want something reminding them of this every day!
As Christians, we have a “fitness tracker” available to us; it’s called “The Bible,” and if we want to know how we are doing, spiritually, all we have to do is consult it.
Many of us DO consult God’s Word on a daily basis so that we can be challenged, encouraged, and motivated. When we realize that God loves us, and that our lives are being lived in service to Him, we can have great joy!
In contrast, many “Christians” seem to stay far away from God’s Word. Why? I suppose it might be because they know that they are not living the kind of life that God wants them to live. It might also have something to do with the fact that they don’t want to be reminded that God has expectations for His children, every day (Lk. 9:23).
The interesting thing is – when it comes to fitness trackers AND God’s Word – our current situation is the same, with or without them. We can benefit from the guidance and reminders that they give us (James 1:25), or we can remain disconnected from the truth; either way, we will reap what we sow (Gal. 6:7).
So how will we approach God’s Word this year? Will it be a source of motivation, encouragement, and challenge for us, or will it be something that we choose to ignore so that we can live the way we want to?
It’s our choice! Let’s all choose to have a happy and healthy New Year, physically and spiritually!