Suffer for Others

suffer-for-othersI suffered through a pretty brutal workout early this morning.  It’s cold here in North Texas (at least for us Texans!) which caused my fingers to go numb early in the workout… but the wicked side stitch that set in mid way through is what really made me want to shut things down early.

Now, I’d like to say I’ve never cut planned workouts short.  I’d like to say I’ve never cheated reps or walked when I should have been running.  Sadly, I’ve done all these things.  But not this morning.

This morning I pushed through.  It was me versus myself.  And I won.  In fact, when the pain really set in I decided to suffer as well as I could and immediately thought of my Exodus brothers and those that are consistently working out with our group.

I thought of these men by name.  I literally said their names out loud as I struggled to catch my breath.  I saw their faces.  I thought of the sins and struggles they’ve dealt with and possibly still deal with.

I then told our Lord how sorry I was for the times I’ve failed Him.  For the times I’ve sinned.  I asked our Lord, out loud, to make me stronger.  I asked Him, out loud, to make my holier.  I told Him, out loud, I loved Him.

Once I was done with the workout I collapsed on my cold barn cement floor.  Steam rose from my now sweaty face as I attempted to collect my senses.  I normally roll around and moan a little after intense Metcons and this morning was no different.  But the thing that was different is I did my very best to offer my minor sufferings for others.  This made me smile a little in between the moaning and rolling around.

So, the next time you find yourself face to face with a nasty workout would you please pray for me by name?  Would you also pray for Mike?  Finally, would you also pray for Intentional Encounter and the work we’re trying to accomplish?

Now, as a subscript to this article, I’d like to share a short Advent meditation one of my Exodus brothers, Colter Goodman, shared with our group via text.  I actually received the text shortly after my workout.  It was perfectly timed.  I pray it helps you as much as it helped me.

Until next time… be holy, eat clean, and do more push-ups!

The Coming of Christ: “O Clavis David” – “O Key of David!”

O Key of David, and sceptre of the house of Israel; who opens and no man shuts, and shuts and no man opens; come and deliver from the prison-house the captive who sits in darkness and in the shadow of death.

The key and the sceptre are the symbol of supreme authority; they indicate the sway that the Saviour is to hold over His faithful people, and the right which He alone possesses of opening the gate of Heaven to the children of men, and of extending to them the golden sceptre of His mercy and forgiving love. To me, O Key of David, unworthy though I am, open in Your mercy the door of Heaven; stretch out to me, all undeserving, the sceptre of Your favour and Your love.

You shut, O Lord, and no man opens. O shut not upon me the door which will admit me to draw nigh to You. Shut not upon me the door of Your mercy and grace. Shut not the door which leads me into the inner sanctuary of Your love. Shut not the door of that fold wherein Your favourite children dwell in peace and happiness. Shut not, above all, the door of Paradise at my last hour.

Come then, O Lord, and open to me now the door of my captivity. I am a captive to my own self-will; a captive to my want of charity; a captive to my vanity and love of display; a captive to my self-indulgence and dislike of mortification; a captive to a thousand faults of which I am scarcely conscious. “Come, O Lord, and set the captive free.” I am weak, and cannot break my chains unless I receive from You the necessary strength; come, O Lord Jesus, come quickly.

– from The Coming of Christ: Meditations for Advent, by Richard Frederick Clarke S.J.