Tired of shadow boxing.

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What’s with the photo above? Oh-just me…boxing a fake rubber man outside of a grocery store.

Today as I was driving home in my red Chevy, the Kelly Clarkson song, “Catch My Breath”, came on the radio. Every song she puts out is super catchy and makes for amazing commute music. However, this time I found myself really focusing in on the lyrics.

Take a moment to read the lyrics below:

“I don’t wanna be left behind
Distance was a friend of mine
Catching breath in a web of lies
I’ve spent most of my life
Riding waves, playing acrobat
Shadowboxing the other half
Learning how to react
I’ve spent most of my time

Catching my breath, letting it go,
Turning my cheek for the sake of the show
Now that you know, this is my life,
I won’t be told what’s supposed to be right

Catch my breath, no one can hold me back,
I ain’t got time for that
Catch my breath, won’t let them get me down,
It’s all so simple now

Addicted to the love I found
Heavy heart, now a weightless cloud
Making time for the ones that count
I’ll spend the rest of my time
Laughing hard with the windows down
Leaving footprints all over town
Keeping faith, karma comes around
I will spend the rest of my life

Catching my breath, letting it go,
Turning my cheek for the sake of the show
Now that you know, this is my life,
I won’t be told what’s supposed to be right

Catch my breath, no one can hold me back,
I ain’t got time for that
Catch my breath, won’t let them get me down,
It’s all so simple now

You helped me see
The beauty in everything

While normally I would count all of those words as common pop lyrics, just yesterday I was reading my bible in 1 Corinthians chapter 9. I took a screen shot of the verse below, prior to having my lightbulb moment with Kelly Clarkson, because this verse really stuck out to me.

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The actual definition of shadow boxing is to spar with an imaginary opponent. How many times in your life has time been wasted on mis-focus? Perhaps you were fighting yourself…your own struggles…anger, frustration, depression, grudges. Or maybe you were shadow boxing God’s plan for your life. Pushing Him away and attempting to fight His love, but no matter how hard you swung, God was still there.

It is easy in life to get exhausted, drained, and frankly just want to give up. Living by faith is no easy task. It takes a toll on us and it doesn’t usually make sense to those around us. Even doing what is right, living a godly life, and making good choices can feel tiring. The song by Kelly Clarkson is not a “Christian song”, but it was my place of worship today. She talked about struggling, being so exhausted she couldn’t catch her breath, shadow boxing, finding faith, and then at the end, she says:

“You help me see the beauty in everything.”

In 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, Paul is using our lives as an analogy to the kind of course an athlete would run. In the world, and in sports, we are competing and running the race with a prize in mind. Usually something temporary, worldly, and mediocre. Paul explains that if we keep faith and run the race, our prize is eternal.

Athletes have to seriously train their bodies in order to be fit for the race–refraining from anything that interferes with the goal. As Christians, we must train ourselves in the same way. Run with your goal in mind, not allowing yourself to be distracted or discouraged. Keep your eyes on the prize. If you stumble or fall, pick yourself right back up and continue running until you reach the finish line.

Let us run the race in faith, in patience and anticipation of one day receiving our crown from the Lord Jesus Himself and hearing Him say to each of us, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21).

I love that this verse talks about running with purpose. Having a life of meaning and purpose is by far the #1 concern and prayer request people send my way. But what could happen if we chose faith? What if we stopped giving up and just ran this race? What if we allowed God to fill our lives with beauty? That would provide a whole lot of purpose, and it did in my own life.

What is so encouraging is that these aren’t just words from Paul. He was able to finish the race. In 2 Timothy 4:7-8, he said:

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”

Stop shadow boxing and keep faith. Run the race God has placed in front of you, and you will succeed in your purpose.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. bethrumley says:

    Love!! It’s interesting how so many pop lyrics can actually be looked at in the right way. I guess it’s another way of seeing God through the world?
    Cute picture of you and Mr. Miami Fitness! (:

  2. Heather says:

    I know this blog entry is a year old but I did a Google search for Shadow Boxing because I have heard this term before from a bible study leader (Beth Moore maybe?) and I wanted to find her writing on it. And instead I came across yours and it is PERFECT and exactly what I needed to hear. THANK YOU!

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