August 18, 2017
by Dr. Matt Friedeman
An old friend of mine is the strength coach for a major university’s athletic teams. We used to work out together, and I was interested in his current emphasis in the training of athletes.
He said, “The core. Making sure our core is strong.”
Now this was years ago. Today, it is common for work-out aficionados to talk about “the core.” But that was the first time I had ever heard about such a thing.
My friend and I in our younger athletic days were perhaps overly interested in working out biceps and triceps and pectorals. But my friend’s attention had changed and so I looked it up. “The core” are a bunch of strange-sounding muscles responsible for stabilizing and protecting the spine. If “the core” is not strong, experts have determined, it doesn’t really matter what is happening in athletic competition with your biceps and triceps.
Weak core = weak athlete. Period.
It is amazing where this truth pops up once you start looking for it. For instance, I was studying the Matthew version of Jesus and Peter walking on the water. The disciples, during the storm, were fearful. Right smack dab in the middle of the narrative are the words “I Am.” Two chapters before the great declaration of Peter at Caesarea Philippi (“You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”), it is said that the disciples right there in the boat, having heard “I Am” and watching both Jesus and Peter walk on water and seeing Jesus control the weather, worshiped him. “‘You really are the Son of God!’ they exclaimed” (14:33).
Whatever your situation today–storm or otherwise–it is a good question. Is Jesus your great “I Am?” The surety of your reply determines the strength of your core.