RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!
It turns out it is true.
VO2=Q x a-vO2 difference (I’ll explain how this connects with love).
Basically, the more you train aerobically at what is called the VO2 max (your maximum heart rate during exercise, more or less) over time increases your capacity to exercise at that right max. How? Well, it is what Adolf Eugen Fick equation above tells us. As either Q (Stroke volume x heart rate) or a-vO2 difference (oxygen extraction) improves, you can exercise harder for longer.
What studies have discovered is that for those who have an active lifestyle, both heart size and heart volume increase due to the work demand.
What is also fascinating is that just a couple weeks after you stop training, the heart returns to the size it was before training.
All this made me think about the spiritual practices in my life and living a life of love.
If you are anything like me, you have moments when you feel God’s love emanating through and other days when you are sour. It is like the classic sign on an administrative assistant’s desk, “Today is not your day. Tomorrow isn’t looking good either.” eeeeekkkkkk!
What I have found is that when I am accepting and engaging with God’s love—God’s love is pumping through my veins—I feel stronger and a greater capacity to love others in my life. You could relate this to our Q (stroke volume x heart rate) in our equation above.
Again, ever do a serve event (community projects, soup kitchens, etc.) or a missions trip and feel that as you served and worked, there was an increase of love in your life? You return home and feel as though you are going to change your life, start a revolution, feed every hungry person in the world! This happening is much like our a-vO2 difference (oxygen extraction) also in the equation above.
When I am engaging God’s love for me and begin to live that out by serving others, it increases my capacity to keep serving others and maintain a life that lives in God’s love. It turns out Fick’s equation deals with more than just exercise.
As we engage in receiving God’s love and showing that same love to others, just like as in the physical body, our spiritual heart—our capacity to love others, ourselves, and God—begins to grow. That is why missions trips have the effect they do. We end up becoming like the Grinch encountering little Cindy-Loo Who and having our heart grow!
Just as the physical body after only a few weeks of not living in God’s love and showing that love forward, our heart begins to shrink. It returns to the size to which it once was. We become like the church from Ephesus in Revelations 2
I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.Re 2:2–4
Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.
God sees the work and perseverance. God knows what you have endured for his sake. He also knows when we have forgotten part of the equation. Yes, we must love others, but first and foremost, we must love God. For it is in God that all other love flows. After all, as John tells us,
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.1 Jn 4:8
Or as Jesus stated
‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.’Mk 12:30–31
The love for our neighbour flows out of the love we have for God, and a love for God must manifest itself as a love for others. There is no separating the two.
If we want to be more spiritually fit, it is not only about serving others, and it is not only loving God and receiving that love in return. It is not just focusing on our social justice projects, just as it is not only finding ourselves in the deep-end of worshiping God.
We must love and serve both God and people consistently in the steady rhythm of our lives. It is only when this becomes our normal that we will begin to see dramatic changes in our hearts.
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