I needed just one credit to finish my physical education requirements for college. Unfortunately, the only classes open were “Weight-Lifting 101” and “Basket Weaving.” So, at 115 pounds, soaking wet (see pic), I signed up for weight-lifting.
To say the least, it was a painful and humiliating experience. Everyone else in the class seemed to be steroid-stoked Olympians. While they were “cleaning and jerking” hundreds of pounds, I was struggling to hoist the bar. One muscle-bound brute delighted in coming up behind me and lifting me up by my gym shorts. Painful and humiliating!
But, even though I looked like the “before” picture in Muscle magazine, I kept showing up for class, kept working with the ever-increasing weights, and kept being picked up by my shorts.
However, the class was graded on “improvement,” not on the amount of weight lifted, so I earned the same grade as the guy lifting my weight!
That summer I worked at the Kellogg’s cereal company lifting fifty-pound boxes of raisins into the chute that dropped to the lower floor’s Raisin Bran packing room. (Sorry, but no smiling sun putting in two scoops!) After weight-lifting, I could crack open the boxes like a raw egg with just one hand.
After I had suffered a little while, I was now strong, firm and steadfast. In the same way, “the God of all grace . . . will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast” (1 Peter 5:10).
So now, sixty pounds later, when I encounter a painful, humiliating experience, I’m reminded that I’m simply being prepared for the next challenge. I couldn’t have survived working in a factory without weightlifting!
Copyright © 2011 James N. Watkins
How has something painful and/or humiliating made you stronger?