Last February I had a realization, or kairos moment, when I stepped on a scale to weigh myself. I knew that I had been sedentary and depressed from winter but I had no idea of the magnitude. For the past several years I had slowly gotten less active and I was filling my schedule with everything BUT exercise. When I get to heaven I want to interrogate God, in the nicest way possible, and ask him to help me understand the significance of winter. It’s depressing. I hope he doesn’t interrupt me during the interrogation and say, “Dude, Heaven has 4 seasons too.”
Instead of staying on top of my diet and exercise I had began to make excuses and was left with the aftermath of poor decisions: bigger clothing and less energy. It all came to a head mid-winter last year. One of the harshest winters ever recorded for the Midwest since 1895. In the middle of winter I stepped on a scale and that changed everything. The Lord spoke to me (kairos moment) in a loud and clear way. “Your body is a temple… not a vending machine!” I may have added that last part but you get the picture!
Kairos moments allow us to process what God’s saying and also how we are to respond. After stepping on the scale and clarifying what God was saying to me along with my wife, an action needed to be taken! My temple was about to get an extreme home makeover! There was going to be an overhaul that included diet and exercise.
While filling in the Learning Circle (3dm lifeshape that is used to process Kairos moments) I wrote one word to describe my plan: Triathlon. Triathlon? What? Really? You may be wondering, “That seems extreme!” In my mind, I felt like God wanted me to go from one extreme to the other: from very sedentary to very active. God has wired me to be a passionate and driven person. The Lord began to awaken my slumber of laziness and brush the dust off. He helped me channel my passion of restoring God’s temple that He gave me as a gift. Neglecting my temple was my past. Restoring and preserving my temple has become my future.
I got online and signed up for a triathlon 6 months out. Paying for my race was part of my accountability for the Learning Circle. The 6 months leading up to my race included me learning how to swim efficiently, buying a bike, increasing my cardio, nursing injuries, boosting my endurance, and most of all trusting God’s lead. The Lord provided motivation along the way. He continued to lead me to 1 Corinthians 6:19, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own” He has given us our bodies as a gift, or a vessel for a short period of time.
This past August, I competed and completed my race and it was absolutely one of the most spiritual experiences I’ve ever had. The Lord affirmed many truths about Himself through my journey of restoring my temple. He cares about our bodies. He cares about our health. He cares about the longevity of our ministries. The best part of the Learning Circle is exiting the experience on a different trajectory. By being obedient to what God was saying and following through with my actions it makes sense that I felt a strong sense of God’s presence throughout the entire journey!
Derek Sloan is a High School Pastor at Crossroads Christian Church in Lexington, KY. He’s been happily married to Sarah, his best friend, for 2 years! Born and raised in Kentucky. Alongside Derek’s fitness goals, he loves playing golf, playing guitar, and any social interaction… all the time! He serves in his ministry with his close friends and loves it!