“All good things must come to an end.” – “Nothing lasts forever.” – “Change is inevitable.” We’ve all heard sayings like these our entire life, I even quoted a few of them myself along the way.
It’s part of life, indeed everything does change in this physical world, the spiritual world I believe is another matter. Sometimes the physical world has an effect on our spiritual world through the emotional ties that bind the two together.
Some changes are gradual, although the wrinkles on my face seem to be picking up steam. I can’t pinpoint the day, week, month, or year when I started actually thinking before jumping down from out of a pick-up truck bed. I’m a long way from jumping off roofs racing my fellow workers to the lunch truck.
I was reminded of the inevitable changes in life again last week. I’ve been going to the same gym for over 15 years… Got notice the last day of this month is also the last day that the gym will be open.
I guess it’s true we’re creatures of habit, I’m not the only one lamenting the closing of that gym, I’ve made some good friends at that gym along the way. The interesting thing about many things including that gym is how it parallels life. Over the years going to that place it’s easy to look back and note the changes in thought and action along this road.
There was a time when I was more faithful to that gym than I was to God and most certainly any church. In the earlier days my priorities were almost the polar opposite of what they are now. It wasn’t as much about health as it was my pride and ego. Oh, it wasn’t just vanity, it was also the fun of healthy competition, pushing each other to do more, but it was all physical.
I remember the five different owners over those years, I recount some people who impacted my life that I’ll never get to see again. I can still see all three of my girls as toddlers and little kids doing their time in the children’s day care. My wife and I still laugh about how the little one used to say, “Daddy, I don’t want to go the gym.” How we imitate it now is how it was pronounced at the time. “Daddy, I doan-wanna-doe-ta-da-dim”!
I can also still picture my older girls and all of my lacrosse girls as high schooler’s working hard at that gym, many of them still do. They began an exercise regimen with a proper perspective, for immediate and long-term benefits.
Inside the doors of that gym led to lifelong friendships and business relationships outside the doors of that gym, into the doors of one another’s homes.
As with many changes somewhere along that 15 plus year timeline, I’ve become a little more mature. God’s opened my eyes to many things, I’ve gained a different perspective on life. In the end it’s really pretty simple, It’s the exact opposite of how I use to think.
It’s not always easy, in fact, it takes work and concentration to look and find it. It is this: It’s not all about me… Amazing it took so many years to figure out something so basic, but to know it in the head is much different than knowing it in heart.
Another change… I’ve had a few of them the last few years, many of us have. This reminds me of what God’s word says; all things in this world are temporary, only God and His sovereign will are eternal.
I’ll use this change to remind myself to enjoy the temporary gifts, to make the most out of each encounter. With any given person, we encounter in this gym of a life, we never know if it’s the last time we’ll have an opportunity to make a difference in their life. I’ve missed more than my fair share.
Who doesn’t want a pat on the back, a “How you doin’ today”? Those words spoken in earnest that lets someone know they matter. To all the people I might well never see again, May God call you and make your paths straight and narrow before you.
I will truly miss you…