I’m going to go parasurfing this year. I’ve never done it, don’t know how to do it and currently don’t have the budget to pay for it. Frankly it looks a little dangerous, a whole lot adventurous and exactly like what it will take for me to push the edges in my life.
Last fall I was running on the beach where you can see for miles. It was cool and blustery toward the end of the beach-going season. During my run I was entertained watching a man parasurf (also called kiteboarding). For me the strong wind was a relentless force pushing against me and pelting me with sand. For him it was a source of energy that pulled him across the crest of turbulent waves and lifted him high into the air. You could tell he had to hold on tight and really work a wide set of muscles. But wow, what a rush!
I’ve been reading the new book GOOD GAME by Shirl James Hoffman. It is a critical look at sports ministry where he helps readers seek to answer the question, “What would it mean to think Christianly about sport?” In it he introduces the term “Nonessential Sport”. He explains, “They (sports) are entirely dispensable, not needed for the smooth functioning of society or the healthy existence of individuals.” It is a leisure activity that frees us from our constraints and helps us to express our deeper spirit. He goes on to quote the late campus pastor Gordon Dahl, “Leisure offers Christians the greatest opportunity they have this side of eternity, to be and become the new man after Christ’s own splendid example.” Well, in my estimation, leisure draws not just Christians but everyone closer to experiencing life in the way God intends for us. With that being said, I want to be a new man too, push the edges and parasurf high above the waves.
Going parasurfing is just one of the things on my Top 10 list for 2010. I also plan to take my family and my mom to hike a portion of the Appalachian Trail. My mom hiked it for a week years ago and now we’re going to relive her adventure. Not everything on my Top 10 list is recreational.
For example, this is the year to make some important updates to Faith & Fitness Magazine and take it to a whole new level. That is going to take a lot of work, prayer and determination. There will no doubt be some tension too. It will require some pushing and pulling and a good bit of pain. You can see already that some impressive changes have been made. Check out the department tabs at the top. I sincerely appreciate the generous and determined work of Murray Chapman who is half way around the world in Australia bringing his amazing knowledge of information technology to this magazine ministry. He, like you, became a regular reader of Faith & Fitness Magazine. In him burns the desire to be used of God. He responded to that tension-of-sorts and the result is that God’s grace and provision have been released in refreshing new ways. It is a real vivid display of God’s faithfulness.
Tension can be both good and bad. The challenge is to move forward, push the edges and understand tension. I think we’re much like a little child who truly thinks he can arm-wrestle with his dad and win. We can try – but we really can’t. God (even though we don’t realize it) uses our attempts to wrestle as another opportunity to hold our hand, look into our eyes and let us know His strength, which in turn makes us stronger.
What is your Top 10 list for 2010? If you don’t have one yet then set aside some time, pray about it and make one today. You don’t have to identify all 10 right away but do outline three or four goals that will push you physically and spiritually. Then expect the tension. It is a natural God-given interaction – a force that can stretch you to greater strength.
Train strong in Christ,
Brad Bloom is the publisher of Faith & Fitness Magazine the premier source of information, ideas and networking for those pursuing an active physical and spiritual life. He provides leadership to organizations that recognize that growth comes by fueling the passion of members and delivering genuine “intimate care”. He helps businesses to move beyond the cliché concepts of “body, mind, spirit” and become innovative communities. His concepts are defining new directions for the lifestyle industry. A communicator and media producer, Brad is president of Lifestyle Media Group. He lives with his wife and children in the Chesapeake Bay area of Virginia.