If you want to understand this photo and the other photos that are forthcoming . . . you MUST read THIS blog and my upcoming blogs, too! If you just look at the photos, you won't understand why I'm sharing the photos, and you won't get ME. You'll just think I'm weird . . . which is okay, too. But I'd prefer you actually read what I have to say about life and what I've learned after 50 years!
Beginning on Monday, I'll be posting a blog series about my theology and life-philosophy of body, mind & spirit. It isn't an accident that I write a monthly column by this same title, as these three aspects of life have always been integrated into my goals, my work, and my understanding of what it means to be fully and completely human and to live into the life God wants for us.
As many of you know, I celebrated my 50th birthday on Oct. 12, and one of my goals was to get into top physical condition--a condition that I last achieved when I was 40, and competed in a drug-free bodybuilding competition (and earned last place). But I was then, at 40, in the top condition of my life. At 50, I am trying to achieve this same level of condition. But this goal is about more than BODY. It is about the integration of mind and spirit (faith) into a life breathed and experienced.
Now, you are probably wondering . . . what's up with this photo? This isn't your top condition, is it? NO! GOOD LORD, NO! Nothing wrong with this guy . . . I like him . . . but NO! This is a photo taken on the island of Antiqua a little over 1 year ago, when my wife and I were on our 25th wedding anniversary cruise. I weighed in at 220+ pounds in this photo (and this includes all of the gray hair). Currently, at the time of this blog posting, I now weigh in at 203 pounds.
However, to fully understand what I look like NOW, you have to understand what I looked like THEN. And you also have to realize that even THEN, I had the body underneath all of that fur and I have just revealed it in the past two months through dedication, sweat, commitment, intense training, strenuous diet, and an integration of MIND and SPIRIT to achieve BODY.
And that's my first lesson: there is someone inside of YOU who is worth celebrating and loving and serving and knowing and redeeming. Yeah, sounds like Oprah, but as you'll discover if you read what I have to say next week, it's also what Jesus taught. And YOU are not about the condition you are in, or any such nonsense, but YOU are beautiful in your own right, and are not an accident, and YOUR goals, aspirations, dreams, and joys are important to the creator of the universe. But it is important for you to know who YOU are and then live fully the live God wants for YOU!
On Monday, when you begin looking at the new me . . . you're really just looking at the old me, but with the same life philosophy that has guided me for many years, and, in fact, the entirety of my life. And if you want to really understand what I've learned and what I'm about, don't miss my sermon this Sunday (Reflections @ 50). It will be on the church web site also (http://www.calvaryunited.org/) in the coming weeks.
My blog series next week will be, I hope, inspirational and elucidating. It's not about me, though. It's about what I have always believed about setting goals, striving for the best in yourself so that you can give more to others, and trying to integrate Body, Mind & Spirit into every facet of your life.
Okay, you can look at me if you want to (Lord knows my wife doesn't) . . . but if you don't read the blogs that go with the photos next week, you just won't understand what I'm about. If you just look at the photos, you'll figure out that my son is a pretty good photographer, but you won't get the benefit of my sage wisdom.
See you here on Monday in a thong.