The last two weeks at my department’s fire practice, we trained on firefighter survival using an obstacle course that has been one of my greatest dreads for the last three years. We typically conduct this training every three months, but for whatever reason, my officers decided we needed it two weeks in a row.
For the last two weeks, my neck has ached. My knees were sore. I felt any upper body movements in my work-outs a bit more than usual. This was even after I’ve upped the intensity and styles of my personal work-out programs over the last month!
One of the guys at the gym where I work out compared our exercise programs. He focuses on specific muscle groups whereas I focus on functional movements. I showed him a picture of one of our trainings in that obstacle course – complete with the “smoke” from my dad’s fog machine and the lights turned off. He understood a bit better why I train full-body.
Then I told him the approximate weight of the gear that I wear – not even counting the tools we carry! (If you don’t know, the bunker pants, coat, hood, gloves, and helmet weight around 30-40 pounds. Add a mask and air pack and you’re up another 10 pounds. I wear composite boots which are heavier than the more common rubber boots…so, mine are about 2-3 pounds each boot.)
This is not a random change of topic, it will come back around to this above mentioned training and weight of gear. I promise.
This morning in church, we were in Ephesians 5. Me being me, I skimmed through not just the verses at which we were looking but at all the verses on that page – which included the passage describing the armor of God.
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. . .Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”
Ephesians 6:10-11, 13
Christians, followers of Christ Jesus, need to prepare appropriately for the spiritual battle we face 24/7. If you have never been in a more obvious battle, brace yourself. You will find yourself exhausted as if you had just finished a full day’s work or a solid full-body work-out. Just like that work-out, you’ll feel that sense of accomplishment that you stood strong for your Lord and witness against whatever temptation or evil has been thrown your way. Without the appropriate armor – truth, righteousness, gospel of peace, faith, salvation (assurance), and the Word of God – we will fall in that battle.
Firefighters need to wear the appropriate gear – our armor – against the fire and other elements we fight to save lives and property. Without it, we not only cannot do our job but also are likely to go down in a fire.
But that armor is heavy. Christians gain strength by talking to God, reading our Bibles, and fellow-shipping with other believers. Firefighters gain strength through physical training – exercise and eating properly.
What armor do you wear? What do you need to do to prepare for your battles? Are you strong enough?
Moms and Dads: you have to carry your children around the house, have energy to get them where they need to be, put food on the table, stay up all night with sick kids, maybe go to another job to provide for your household.
Married Men: you are the leaders of your household. Are you strong enough to shoulder that responsibility? Do you have the energy? Do you have a healthy outlet for the stress that will build up from different challenges in this role?
Married Women: you are your man’s partner. You are supposed to be strong in areas where he is weak. Are you? Are you keeping up your strength to stay healthy? Are you remembering to take care of yourself?
Singles: It’s all on you. Are you strong enough to shoulder the full responsibility that others share? Are you forming good habits now so you don’t have that worry later when your obligations increase?
How do you prepare for your job? Not every job is as obviously as physically demanding as firefighting. But sitting at a desk all day takes a toll on your body. Moving patients puts stress on your body. Standing on cement flooring in a hot environment can cause problems.
Do you need help physically preparing yourself for your life’s daily challenges? That’s where I come in. On the home page, there is a “Contact” button. You can go ahead and message me through that, and we’ll talk!