Developing Internal Strength
One of my favorite pastimes is watching the Olympics. It doesn’t matter if it’s winter or summer games, I enjoy the Olympics. Recently I was watching the American gymnasts, both the males and the females, and noticed how strong they were. They’re like badgers; as short as they are, pound for pound, they are extremely powerful.
I began to reflect on this simple fact; their external strength is temporary, it will come to pass. The gymnast on the rings will only be able to do an iron cross for a limited period of time. There will come a season where their muscles will begin to atrophy, their skeletal structure will begin to deteriorate, and like the law of the seed they will return to the earth. Currently, they look like a statue of a Greek god. However, this is as good as it’s going to get. Their strength is but a fleeting experience.
How many of you when you got up in the morning as a teenager, you just leapt out of bed and were ready to take on the world and now when you get up in the morning parts of your body don’t follow you out of bed with quite the zeal you once enjoyed.
What I want to tell you my friend is don’t just depend on the externals of life. How is your internal strength? Internal strength? You see, there is a strength you can invest in that will never fade away. A strength of character, a strength of core values, a strength of faithfulness, a strength of intellectual development, a strength that will never atrophy.
How often we set our affections on things on this earth. We invest years in perfecting certain athletic skills and strengths, only to see at a very young age it’ll be time to retire. Even perhaps the greatest professional basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan, is no longer capable of playing professional basketball. It was a limited experience.
It is my observation that the majority of us invest an overwhelming percentage of our energy on developing external things, whether it be cosmetic, whether it be muscular, whether it be pleasure. And yet we invest very little time and effort in really developing the internal part of our being, that which will not fade away, that which will not perish, that which endures.
When you’re 85 years old, you’re probably not going to be able to run a marathon. However, you can still have internal qualities that will go the distance. You can still have knowledge, understanding and wisdom that have been developed. You can still have a character that is stellar. You can still have a moral fiber that is to be envied. And you can still have things that are born within, and developed from within, and sustained from within that others will envy.
So, just a thought today, are you focusing more on the externals, or on the internals? How strong are you on the inside?