>Experienced a really weird phenomenon over the last couple of weeks while working out. Sometimes I’ll get on the treadmill or bike and my heart rate will immediately jump to where it needs to be, stay there, and everything is kosher. Other times, I’ll get on and it just won’t pick up at all, no matter how hard I bike, fast I run, the incline…it feels like running through mud because my body won’t respond. Still other times, I’ll start running and it will instantly ramp up past where I need it to be and no matter what I do (short of stopping) it won’t settle down, which is a very uncomfortable feeling. Its like my resting heart rate, which should be pretty constant, fluctuates from day to day.
To give a frame of reference, Lance Armstrong is famous for having a resting heart rate (RHR) of 32 beats per minute. That means his heart beat every two seconds, which I’m sure felt incredibly weird. My RHR is substantially higher because I’m not a world-class cyclist capable of climbing mountains in France for fun. My RHR is NOT, however, around 140, which is what the machines at our gym keep trying to tell me sometimes. That would be really REALLY bad for my health.
I think we have a spiritual RHR as well. When we’re “in shape” like Lance, it takes more to get us really excited and fired up. It’s during these times that we either work even harder and experience our greatest times of growth, or we rest on our laurels, lose our conditioning, and end up sliding back into bad habits. When we have those bad habits, we are awakened more easily by God and we experience the endorphins (like seeing a beautiful girl, riding a rollercoaster, watching a thrilling movie, etc), the rush, of finding Him again and our spiritual heart rate increases dramatically.
I listened to a Matt Chandler podcast today on my way to Plano that talked about studying Scripture and how important it is. As I remake my body, and talk about remaking my spirituality as well, it occurred to me that I need to work out my soul as I work out my body. I need to be so in shape that it takes hard work to get me really spiritually fired up, and then I need to put forth that work. Just because Lance was in shape doesn’t mean he didn’t work hard or feel the burn in the Pyrenees, and just because I know the Word of God doesn’t mean there won’t be things that stir my soul and awaken the fire in me. I just need to make sure that I’m taking care of my body, inside and out.
“My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.” Psalm 84:2