Identity found in the Lord, not human image

By Jaden Jennings, Contributing Writer

For me personally, working out has always been a part of my daily routine.

As I was in the gym yesterday though, I had an epiphany. I thought to myself, “wait a minute; why am I doing all of this work to my body?”

I run to get skinny, I lift to look muscular, but when I die, is anyone really going to care how chiseled my abs and legs were?

I do not believe this random thought came from my own mind at Planet Fitness on a Tuesday; Rather, I believe it came from God himself.

Now don’t get me wrong before you continue reading. I believe with my whole heart that working out is important as well as eating healthy.

Nevertheless, I have realized during my journey as a Christian, I was claiming I was exercising for God, when in reality; I was selfishly doing it for the results.

Being toned? A plus, but not my identity.

Rock hard abs and arms? Good for winning a fight, but not necessarily for winning souls.

You probably think that I will never step foot in a gym again, but I am here to tell you that is completely, 100% false.

Our body is a temple for God, and I hope to maintain it to the best of my ability here on this earth.

However, my mindset when going to the gym will no longer be one of selfish desires and comparison, but more so, of an opportunity I have to honor God with my body.

Nevertheless, I did have a small thought that maybe my philosophy to working out could be applied to shopping as well.

Ugh, that hurts to say in the very depth of my soul, but still, remains true.

What if we spent less time focused on designer brands, and more on our hearts?

I love my Louis Viton handbag no doubt, but I have been thinking lately, what is the point of having it?

Did I want it for myself when I bought it?

Maybe so, but I have a hunch that I bought it because of the prestige that came with it.

This column is not discrediting shopping of course, because I am a firm believer in looking good to feel good.

However, our identity should not be about our bodies or the items that cover it, rather, it should be more concerned with spreading the gospel to the ends of the earth.

That’s what we are here for anyways right?

To be good stewards of hope and worship God. All the rest is just temporary.

If you are reading this column, I would encourage you the next time you go to the gym to change your mindset.

Look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself this body is just temporary, and I am working out for God because my soul is eternal.

Or in the dressing room, tell yourself that this article of clothing is just an accessory.

It doesn’t matter if it is from TJ Maxx or Versace. I will not rely on my clothes to define my worth.

If looks were important to Jesus, He would have been one good-looking man here on Earth.

Maybe He was, but the Bible describes His appearance as being common to man.

This alone should give us hope that attraction is not what God holds dear to His heart.

Instead, it is our actual hearts He evaluates.

Imagine what would happen if we exercised our hearts just as much as our bodies?

Or what if instead of buying new clothes every two months, we donated some of our old ones to those in need?

Or what if we stopped comparing ourselves to people on Instagram and started interacting with actual people?

God cares about our physical health and the way we feel when we look good, but you know what? I believe that it goes much farther than that.

I believe that Jesus loves us so much that He could care less about how skinny we are or how much money we spend.

I believe that He just wants us. Period.

We can run as much as we want, but if we do not have Him, we have nothing.

We can spend as much as we want on designer clothes, but if we do not have Him, we are just as empty as our bank accounts.

You see, if you are anything like me, this thought should set you free.

No longer will you have to be measuring up to an Instagram fitness model with an obtainable figure.

No longer will you be worried about the clothes you have on your back because you will know that brands don’t defi ne you.

You are loved just as you are.

No exceptions and no expectations; And that my friends, is a good feeling.

Column: how to overcome spring fever and find motivation to finish strong

The symptoms of spring fever can include feelings of restlessness and excitement. Most students are looking forward to their summer plans. Extreme cases of spring fever are known as senioritis.

By Rebekah McPheeters, Contributing Writer

Students all across campus have seemed to lose motivation after Spring Break and are having trouble staying focused.  With 30 days of the semester left to go, it is important to maintain focus. 

The symptoms of spring fever can include feelings of restlessness and excitement.  Most students are looking forward to their summer plans.  Extreme cases of spring fever are known as senioritis. 

“The lack of motivation only increased my stress about all of the large assignments due in April,” senior Rebecca Lee said

Here are some of the top suggestions for getting through spring fever:

Keep a regular schedule. snooze.jpg

As the year moves on, all the strictly resolute plans to wake up early and get to bed on time are often not maintained.  However, if you can keep a regular schedule, your body is more at rest, and your mind is able to focus more. 

When you can, add a time to exercise to your schedule to decrease restlessness and increase mood.

“Whenever I started to exercise, I began to be more productive and relaxed during the day,” junior Amber Isaac said.

Keep track of your progress and success.

journal.jpgYou grow so much from semester to semester.

What seemed overwhelming last year is achievable this year.  Journaling is a good way to process through each day and learn how to keep improving. 

“Journaling regularly helps me keep everything in perspective,” junior history major Emily Storm said.

Write practical to-do lists. 

Goals should keep us moving forward, so plan goals and to-do lists that don’t overwhelm you.  College does not last forever, so work hard through the end and make each day count. to-do-list

“Rather than feeling discouraged by how much I didn’t get done, I am motivated by how much work from my to-do list I finished,” Isaac said. 

These three top tips for the spring semester may seem simple, but they can help motivate you through April and May. 

Don’t forget to enjoy the amazing weather.  Spending time outside is known to improve your mood. 

Use these tips to help you achieve amazing things through these last two months.