Friday, October 22, 2010

Spiritual Bonking

Consider him (Jesus) who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:3

There is a term in cycling, mountain biking and running called bonking. Bonking occurs when your blood sugar level is depleted during a workout and your body shuts down. I have only experienced it once and it is no fun. My hunch is, however, in praying through our response cards from this past weekend, many in the PCC community, and beyond, are experiencing a spiritual bonk!

Spiritual bonking occurs when one experiences a period of sustained spiritual, emotional, relational and even physical exertion and their faith is seemingly depleted. Spiritual bonks happen all the time. Jesus predicted them in John 16:33 and the author of Hebrews also addresses them in Hebrews 12:3 (above).

In the original Greek language that Hebrews was written in, growing weary describes a circumstance where your forward progress and pace is slackened and slows considerably. Think fatigue and exhaustion. If a follower of Christ lacks self-awareness and doesn’t address this weariness, their condition progresses to the point where they lose heart. They stop moving forward and drop out of the race completely.

Aristotle used both of these words, “of an athlete who flings himself on the ground in panting relaxation and collapse after he has surged past the winning post of the race.”

When I bonked on my mountain bike, a shot of Gu Energy Gel gave me the boost of energy I needed to finish my ride. The verse above provides our spiritual GU Energy Shot--a sustained focus on Jesus. The term “consider” literally means compare and contrast. In other words, we are to focus on the life of Jesus and compare and contrast his endurance and the opposition he faced with our circumstances.

We are invited to do so not to belittle our trials, but to discover how Jesus stewarded trials and how he lived above circumstances, never under them. Jesus is a completer, a finisher (Hebrews 12:2) and through him, we can finish well too!

My heart is for the PCC community to thrive, in spite of trials and recessions, diseases, deaths, relational breakdowns, job losses and everything else life throws at us. God knew we would have trouble during our pilgrimage on planet earth. (John 16:33) This isn’t heaven! He didn’t leave us here as orphans, (John 14:33) and promised his presence (Hebrews 13:5) and power (Acts 1:8) for us to face any trial. We can take heart because Jesus has overcome the world! (John 16:33)