As Miami Heat’s Dwayne Wade turns 30 later this month, he has dropped sweets from his diet and added salad. His new season’s resolution includes healthy foods rather than chicken fingers and cheeseburgers. In this ninth pro season nutrition has become more important as part of his goal to stay healthy. During past seasons, he thought he could get away with eating just about anything he wanted—not now.
“When it comes to food,” Wade said, “I understand the things that I need now.”
Wade said changing the way he fuels his body has him feeling as healthy as ever.
“The protein, the drinks, the carbohydrates, I know all the things I need,” Wade said. “The biggest thing is that I’ve talked with a nutritionist, who’s working with the team, who understands what we need, how much we practice, what weight I need to be at, what body fat, this, this and this. Put them together, come up with a master plan, and I reap the benefits.”
Wade entered this season with a body fat of less than 4%, but said he has enough strength and bulk to get through the grind of a season, and credited his new diet. “It’s working for me,” Wade said. “It’s not bad. It’s better than I thought. Just trying to give my body an edge. I’m just trying to do whatever I can within my limitations of doing it. Most of my salad consists of fruit. It’s helping me out. I’m just trying to figure out ways that I can make sure I at least give my body a chance to be as healthy as it can be.”
As we enter into the New Year, many athletes make New Year’s resolutions to eat better or improve their training. However, for the Christian athlete while diet and training are important, it pales when compared to the need to train spiritually. The Apostle Paul urged his young protege Timothy to make spiritual training his priority. He told him, “Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come” (1 Timothy 4:7-8).
What does Paul mean by bodily training is of some value? It does help in two ways: extent and duration. It’s only good for a short time. When I stopped lifting weights after playing college football, I lost nearly 25 pounds within just the first month. I had spent years building my strength and endurance, only to lose it within a very brief period of time.
There’s nothing wrong with making resolutions to improve your diet and training this year, but not while ignoring your spiritual health. This was nothing new in Paul’s day as many of his readers would have placed more emphasis on the physical body instead of character and virtue.
Paul goes on to say that godliness is profitable in every way. Beyond just physical, it’s profitable not just to the body but the body and soul. It’s profitable not just for a brief time, but for eternity. Make a resolution to spend time in the Word of God every day and cultivate godliness because godliness is profitable in every way.
When it comes to spiritual priorities, do you understand the things that you need this coming year? Get involved in spiritual gymnastics today and go to your spiritual gym every day and do your spiritual workout and the results will not only be a blessing to you now, but for the life to come. Remember the whole matter of making resolutions is not just goal setting so that we might have happier and more productive lives. We are called by God to live according to His will, not our own — for Christ’s sake, not our own.
1. Did you make any resolutions this new year? If so, what are they?
2. What are some spiritual exercises that should be practiced regularly?
3. What priority does prayer have in your life?
4. What priority does reading God’s Word have in your life?
5. Have you ever considering using a bible reading plan?
Getting you started with your training:
The key to any bible reading plan it to stick with it for at least 30 days. It’s difficult to build any new habit in less time. If you don’t make the commitment to stay with the program for at least 30 days, you will quickly find yourself lacking the motivation to stick with the plan. Also, never lose sight of the goal which is to develop your relationship with God not to simply maintain a check list of activities.
There are many reading plans available free online. You can choose one that best fits you and your schedule. YouVersion is a web site and mobile app that I use. It has many translations of the Bible and many reading plans. You can go to YouVersion and create an account; once you have done that, you can sign up to do a reading plan. You can read or listen to chapters on any mobile device. I find that listening to my iPhone while I commute each day works best for me.
Whether you listen or read on a mobile device, or use a printed Bible, the most important thing it just to do it. Keep the main thing, the main thing, which is to meet God in his Word.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Gordon Thiessen has served on staff with the Nebraska FCA since 1986. Currently, he is the Director or Training and Resources for the Nebraska FCA. He has a weekly blog, Sports In Focus. You can subscribe to the podcast at itunes and the blog here.He has also founded Cross Training Publishing (www.crosstrainingpublishing.com). He has written Team Studies on Character and edited The Athletes Topical Bible. He is married to Terri and has four grown children. You can find out more information about the Nebraska FCA at www.nebraskafca.org.
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