She said at one point she had reached 399 pounds and has since lost 191 of those. It wasn’t unbelievable actually. It was, I would say, very believable. She told the story passionately and with words that caused me to recognize she knew she did not do this on her own. More on that in a moment.
Earlier today I joined a gym. Actually the first month was a Christmas present from my wife and daughters. In my college years I had worked at a small fitness center, had ran a couple of marathons, a lot of 10ks and now continued to walk long distances. But now, I needed an indoor facility that would allow me to work efficiently and quickly. I found that place in Gold’s Gym in McDonough, Georgia. (That is not a plug, though if someone joins because of this blog I do get a month free. Please mention my name when joining.)
Today, I was re-connecting with my fitness program, moving from one machine to the next, adjusting the seat, decreasing the weight from the previous health enthusiast and going about my business, reliving the glory days in my mind. I came across a machine that would increase the strength and flexibility in my shoulders and upper arms. I again climbed in, set the weight and did my reps, and thought, “Wow, that was really helpful. That was good.” I then moved to the next machine and continued. Another gentleman began setting up the machine I had just left and I noticed that he was sitting differently in the seat than I had been. In fact, he was sitting opposite as to how I had been seated. In fact, this “clown” was in the machine backwards. Or so I thought.
As he got up I went back to the previous machine to see how confused he must have felt and noticed that there in plain view were pictorial instructions I had obviously overlooked. You see where this is going…don’t you. It was then I discovered that it was actually I who had been seated backwards in the machine. How humiliating! But only to me. No one else witnessed the situation…except… for that one guy.
On the way home, I reflected on my mistake. It is odd how life at times will instruct us from these situations. And life is like that isn’t it? Sometimes we just go through seasons of our lives, “backwards”. Everything seems to be going okay and we are feeling good about ourselves, but, something is not quite right. It is then when we often discover the pictorial instruction we are to follow and change our position for next time and our life moves on for the better.
The Bible is like that. We at times want to get more familiar with the Bible as an instruction manual for our lives and we delve in with enthusiasm and probably get a lot of details backwards, but as we continue to “work out” we again discover pictorial instructions God has for us, and how we are to conduct ourselves. Just something to think about.
Back to Rachel. I failed to mention her name earlier. It was Rachel. In fact, she gave me permission to use her real and complete name, Rachel Oliver. I was beginning to fill out the paperwork for membership and because I have a high level of curiosity about people I asked her a few questions, very basic stuff about the gym, how she became a member, mutual friends we had, etc.
She said, “I weighed 399 pounds and lost 191 pounds so far.” Instantly my spidey senses went off and I knew there was a blog here. She said she had grown up locally in the area and had continued to gain weight throughout her life and began to spiral out of control. She approached the television show, Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Addition and through that process regained her health and found her true joy thanks to God, friends and a trainer named Chris. (By the way, you can go to www.youtube.com, type in Rachel Oliver, and there you will see a portion of her story. She said that from the moment she met him, “Chris had a confidence in her that she did not have in herself.”
Like I was today, Rachel was in the machine backwards in life. A great person who needed some pictorial instructions for her journey and also needed this key element, someone to offer her Hope when she had none for herself. It is now her goal to tell her story and educate others as to the importance of health and diet. She will now help many who will in turn help many who will in turn help many.
I would encourage you to find a Rachel in your life. You will discover them sitting in the machine backwards like I was, just working away. But what they need is someone to instruct them, believe in them and bring them Hope. Don’t worry, God will put you in their path if you sincerely ask Him to. That is just one of His greatest abilities. To connect the strong with the weak, the rich with the poor, the up with the down, the successes with the failures, the Hopeful with the hopeless.
Find a Rachel. It will amaze you what they will become if you will give them one thing…Hope.