Circuit training doesn’t mean taking as many trips as possible to the buffet. There are similarities. People start in one place and work their way from one station to another until their plates are full. They sit down for a while and then return for another circuit. Repetition is key.
Fitness circuit training requires repetition, too, but it also requires intention and focus. There’s no meandering from station to station, browsing the possibilities and choosing only those things that look appetizing. It’s about intentionally going from station to station, taking each step at a time in sequence to get the maximum benefit from the combination. Trying to combine too many things on the fitness buffet would be disastrous!
Spiritual circuit training is a combination of the two. It’s more disciplined than dining at the food buffet. You can’t simply choose what tastes good or looks most appealing. We often find ourselves in some rather unpleasant circumstances, but we need to persevere and have patience in a wide variety of situations. We can’t skip over the bitter and sour of life any more than we can camp in the sweet spots. We enjoy or endure situations and proceed to the next.
At the same time, we must be careful not to get so regimented about the routine of spiritual training that we eliminate the “living it” process. If we’re only focused on going through the motions, we won’t get the full benefits. We can check off the boxes of Bible study, service, worship services, and tithing and think we have everything covered when, in reality, we’re not fully committed to any of it. It’s just something we feel expected and accustomed to do, so we continue to do it. We become pew-warmers, who are more consumed with a “serve us” attitude than service. Faith becomes less God-driven and more self-driven. Comfort becomes key.
Spiritual circuit training isn’t comfortable. It’s growth-producing. God has organized life. There are some things that are consistent and reliable. We can always trust God to provide what we need when we yield to him.
“The sun rises, the sun sets, and then it hurries back to where it rises again.” (Ecclesiastes 1:5)
“I am sad and tired. Make me strong again as you have promised.” (Psalm 119:28)
Consider everything you’re involved in that impacts your spiritual growth. How are you being intentional in your relationship with God?
Now take an honest look at the reasons you do each of those things. What are the benefits?
If your evaluation reveals some areas in which you’re going through the motions, doing what you’re “supposed to,” ask God to freshen your perspective, stirring within you a renewed passion to find purpose in the journey. If you find there are some areas lacking altogether, ask God to show you the first steps you’re supposed to take. Sometimes he’ll have you casually dip your toes into a new area, but sometimes he’ll have you jump in with both feet. Trust his guidance. His timing will always be better than yours. You’ve been trying life your way. Now it’s time to try it his way.
Perhaps you have some areas in which you’re doing fairly well. You’re disciplined and committed for the right reasons. Great! Celebrate and thank God for his faithful guidance. Be sure to intentionally check back into the same area of your life in the near future. It’s often the areas of life that seem most stable that start to deteriorate, causing a ripple effect. Ask God how you can stay committed in those areas and invite him to reveal ways you need to tweak your approach and commitment to insure regular rejuvenation. Take nothing for granted.
Invite God to invade every area of your life. When he does, your spiritual muscles will tone and your stamina and focus will continue to improve.