If you want to feel jealous there’s nothing like a trip to the gym.
Standing in the middle of the gym floor I’m like an oasis of chubbiness amongst the desert sands of the perfectly conditioned body beautiful. In a contrast you might see in posters on walls or the social media highlighting transformation workouts, I’m like the before model who hasn’t seen his feet in years due to the expensively assembled barrel which forms my belly.
It reminds me of the radio and television ads promoting high definition television, if you really want to feel inadequate you only have to see someone’s six pack enhanced, thanks to the wonders of HD. As a result my father thinks I’ve spent the last six years going to the gym only to eat my lunch! Of course my plight isn’t helped by my training partners who both stand over six feet tall and resemble brick outside toilets. I suppose I make them look even better even though age isn’t on their side.
One is in his early forties and his hair line has receded to the back of his neck. The other is nearer fifty and with his white hair and sunbed enhanced tan resembles a pint of Guinness. In fairness these two men are like the human version of the Rainbow Centre for unwanted pets; they take pity on wandering strays who feel lost and totally out of their depth in a gym.
For the last six to eight months the pair have taken me under their wing - not an easy task and I’m always reminded of the proverb ‘you can’t make a silk purse out of a pig’s ear’. Yet they have persisted, introducing me to all kinds of torture masquerading as exercise. I’m always reminded how training is only one half of the programme; you have to be eating the right protein, carbs and fats but I’ve only concentrated on the fats. The banter in the mornings when I do turn up for training is great. The situation is helped by the simple fact that the ‘Del boy and Rodney’ of the fitness world are Man United supporters.
When we look at the world around us we can become consumed with jealousy when we see what others enjoy. We’re never satisfied with how we look or what we have, there always seems to be something missing from our lives. It’s no accident that two of the Ten Commandments refer to jealously. As human beings none of us are perfect and we always want more, rarely are we content with what we possess. Yet deep down if we truly believed we are loved by God, if we understood how God sees us, we wouldn’t be crippled by jealously or fear. The moment we recognise and experience the enormous and overpowering love which God has for his children we will be overjoyed. We will be empowered and freed from our insecurities and fears and able to love God in return. Secure in our own identity, comfortable in our own skin, we would truly be able to love and appreciate all the people who enter our lives, and so rejoice in the gifts and achievements of all.