For those of you who do not know I am a fitness trainer/ strength coach. I am part owner of a facility where we specialize in group training. Before each session we do a very important warm up. Most people will go to the gym on their own or their trainer may put them on the treadmill to warm them up. Just doing this, or a set or two of jumping jacks is not enough to get you ready for the workout. In fact, if you do not warm up properly your entire session is pointless.
There are some scientific reasons that I will not get into as to why warming up properly is important. I will tell you that it will decrease your risk for injury and get your body ready to work. Basically, if your warm up isn’t a quality warm up you might as well not train. The same holds true for competitive athletes before a game or contest. They must do a detailed warm up before playing the game. If a pitcher comes out of the bull pen cold and faces the first batter he is just asking for any number of possible injuries.
So our warm ups can be pretty intense. Some people might even use part of it as their workout. Then our work starts and near the end I like to tease the people training by saying “the warm up is almost over!” Of course the new people in the session look at me like “seriously?” and the veterans just roll their eyes at my attempt at humor. But seriously this is all the warm up.
Look how short life is. In James 4:13-15 he says “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.”
We are but a vapor. Our personal existence does not last very long. We are here today by the will of God. Some believe we are only here and then that is it. But I can not believe that. I do believe that this is the warm up. It’s the time to get ready for the actual workout. It is time to get ready for the game. It is time to get ready by making the warm up a priority and not just a walk on the treadmill.
I know James wasn’t speaking of what I am talking about in his writing, but his reference to us as a vapor, or as some translations say a mist, drives home how short our life is. He is also saying, if you read a few verses later, that if we know good and do not do it that it is sin.
Knowing that life is short, and it is not the ultimate goal, means that this is the warm up. One must do good to keep from sin because one day we will get called to play the game. We will get called to do the real work. We will get called to eternity. So we must love each other.
The warm up is almost over.