Two years ago, August 24, 2014, a journey began when I hopped in my car to meet a friend in South Carolina to figure out why we had been brought back together after not seeing each other for over 15 years. A few days later I was back in my car returning to Wichita. Two thousand four hundred miles of driving, a few days in South Carolina, and all I came back with was a name, Complete Fitness. Today I’m writing to tell you some of what I’ve learned in the two years since that drive.
When you feel God is calling you to do something, often you begin with excitement. What you don’t anticipate is the frustration and the range of emotion that you may go through. From day one of this journey, I have prayed for a few things. The first was to seek God’s will along with the wisdom to know the difference in my will versus His. The second was that He would purify my motives in all that I do and to purify me to the point where what people see in public is who I am in private.
On a January morning in 2015 another friend of mine said something that has been vital in my continuing with Complete Fitness despite not knowing what Complete Fitness was supposed to be. In a moment of vulnerability and fear I told him how frustrated and scared I was because I didn’t know what I was doing. His words from that day have been the most important words spoken to me since this journey started. He said, “Mickey, what you are doing is right, and God will reveal to you what you are supposed to do in His time. Your job is to keep moving!”
There have been extreme highs and lows throughout this process. There have been times when I have felt God’s presence and other times when I’ve felt nothing at all. I’ve even considered giving up, but then I hear my friend’s words, “Just keep moving.” People have come and gone. People that I thought were supposed to be on this mission with me have disappeared. To be honest, I have felt anger and abandonment, but was that right? Was I supposed to feel that? My prayer for God’s will versus mine should have been enough. The anger was coming from my selfishness and my want for them to be involved, yet I should know that if it’s God’s will they will remain involved or if it’s not His will they will not, and I have to live with that and “keep moving.”
On to what I’ve learned in these two years. We live in a chaotic world. We live in a world that we know needs to change. Many people have come along that have promised change and others, including me, have enthusiastically believed that one person can change the world. This is one of the most important lessons that I have learned. As much as I want to, I can’t change the world nor can you. (Stay with me on this because there is hope.) The world is out of our control. What anyone else does is out of our control? The news on television, radio, and the internet tells us of horrible events and nasty people throughout the world. Sometimes they are in our own towns. Watch enough of it, and you will find yourself living in fear and misery. In November, many will go to the polls this November because they hope that Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will have the answers and wind up disappointed because neither Trump nor Clinton do.
A wise man and a mentor of mine has taught me through sports to focus on what I can control and not focus on what I can’t. This is something that I teach the kids that I coach in baseball in regards to the game, but the lesson isn’t about baseball. It’s about life! Changing the world is a huge task, an impossible task, but we know the world needs to change so where is the hope? Look in the mirror. There you will find the one thing that you can control and the one person you can change.
A couple of days ago I wrote about what I believe to be the biggest problem that we face today, and what has been the biggest problem since the creation of man, envy and selfish ambition. Neither you nor I can control the envy and selfish ambition of another person, but we can control those traits within ourselves. The world changes when we individually choose not to live selfishly, rather we place the interests of others above ourselves. One of my friends started a foundation called 1 Spark and on the foundation’s website you will find these words, “One Spark Can Start a Fire”. What is the one spark that will change you? The world doesn’t change with you putting the interests of others above yourself or me doing the same. It changes when millions of us do!
What does this have to do with Complete Fitness and what I’ve learned? The solutions to many of our problems are simple and they start with what Christ said when he was asked what the greatest commandment is. Love God and the second greatest is to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Simply put, we live with no selfish ambition. I’ve learned that Complete Fitness is not a thing. It’s not a gym! It’s not being mentally, physically, socially, and financially fit because those things can always be taken away instantly through circumstances that are out of our control and at some point we lose all of them no matter what.
So what is Complete Fitness? It’s a destination and the ability to get to that destination cannot be earned because it is freely given. When each of us take our final breath, we will either be completely fit or we will not. The choice is mine! The choice is yours! And, making that choice is totally in our individual control.
Why do we focus on improving any area of fitness if in the end it is all in vain? All areas of fitness can be done out of selfish ambition or selfless ambition. We can be physically fit for ourselves or to serve others. We can use our financial resources to help others or we can hoard them. Those same resources can be used to buy a luxury car, a boat, a bigger house or they can be used to feed a child or help someone in need. James 3:16 says, “For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” Most will choose selfish ambition by their actions despite their words. What will you choose?