Last week I wrote an article about the impact that Crossfit had on my spirituality. After I wrote that article, I got to thinking about Baristi, the sport that I practice. Baristi is a sport that is known by different names such as street-workout, freestyle calisthenics, and extreme calisthenics. As the names suggest, Baristi is a sport that develops an extreme level of natural body strength, endurance, and control. I first ran into Baristi about a year ago, but it wasn't until months later that I actually decided to give it a go. The result was instant addiction. After years of not clicking with anything at the gym I had finally fallen in love. Since then, my workouts have consisted entirely of body weight training using different variations of pushups, pullups, dips, squat's etc. The goal in Baristi is to perform these natural body exercises in an extreme but controlled way. As a result, the sport has grown widely popular among younger generations and even hosts its own Baristi World Cup in Germany.
As I thought about Baristi and spiritual growth I remembered the one aspect of Baristi that attracted me most to the sport. I had been going to the gym on and off for years attempting to achieve quick results. I had even tried several different programs that promised quick muscular growth. None of it really worked. But when I first looked into Baristi I was immediately confronted with one simple reality. The Baristi gurus didn't beat around the bush. This sport, they said, will take years to master. You shouldn't expect to see real results until you have been practicing for about 2-3 years.
For some reason, I really liked the fact that the Baristi community did not promise quick results. There was something authentic about them. Something raw and organic about their commitment level. Two to three years of consistent pressure. Two to three years of unbending commitment. That's what it would take for the average joe/ jane to arrive, not at mastery, but at the place where they were strong enough to begin the process of mastery. After years of wanting quick results, their genuine no-quick-results vibe was like a breath of fresh air.
And this is what true spiritual growth is like. It isn't instantaneous. It doesn't happen overnight. If we want to be more like Jesus, there is no such thing as quick results. The process of becoming like Christ, a process known as sanctification, takes a lifetime. It is by applying consistent pressure that our persona is shaped into the posture of Christ. It is by unbending commitment that our characters are chiseled to spiritual precision. The fight is long, hard, and uphill. There is no such thing as quick results in the divine realm. If we want to be wise, if we want to be serene, if we want to be loving, and if we want to be Christ-like it requires time, experience, and scars. We cannot be passive. We cannot be lazy. And we cannot demand rapid improvement. The key is to commit ourselves to God and embrace the reality that sanctification is a life-long, uphill battle that requires our full commitment.