The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

Hi,

I admire your interest in helping youngsters with their various life issues and was hoping that you could perhaps provide me with some advice for my particular situation.

A little over the age of 16 I discovered bodybuilding and immediately showed interest. It did not take long for me to develop a passion for it. I worked out on a regular basis and enjoyed not only the satisfaction of achieving goals that I set out for myself, but also the process that came with it. It was not required of me to seek external motivation for me to go to the gym as I already had ample motivation that came solely from the satisfaction already stated.

Fast forward to the current day (I'm now 18, almost 19), I no longer have the drive or passion. The change occurred a little over two months ago. I don't know the reason for this change in feelings, but it happened for no reason. The feeling has not deteriorated over the two years, if anything my passion has only grown by a substantial amount. However, somewhere in January the passion subsided completely overnight.

Is it possible that my passion will return? I ask this question because when I developed a passion for bodybuilding I enjoyed life much more than I used to. I enjoyed doing everything else more, including other hobbies (although none of these would come close to my desire for bodybuilding). At the beginning, I thought that it was minor and that I will regain it if I took a break. However, it has been nine weeks now and I've actually got depressed realizing that it has not returned. I don't even care if I lose all my progress I made throughout the two years and it frustrates me because it just disappeared overnight.

Any advice is appreciated.


Answer

It is very common for people to follow their feelings instead of their reason. The problem is that feelings change faster than the weather, but reasons are constant. That is why God tells us not to trust our hearts in important matters, such as making good moral choices. "He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, But whoever walks wisely will be delivered" (Proverbs 28:26).

It sounds to me that you got a touch of depression. Since workouts boost your hormones that make you feel good and since you took a break from your workouts that feedback is not there. Thus, your depression set in stronger. The usual cure is to ignore the feeling and continue to work.

But also understand things like bodybuilding are temporary things. They don't hold lasting value. "Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth; walk in the ways of your heart, and in the sight of your eyes; but know that for all these God will bring you into judgment. Therefore remove sorrow from your heart, and put away evil from your flesh, for childhood and youth are vanity" (Ecclesiastes 11:9-10). Make sure you also do things in your life that hold lasting value. That is Jesus' message in the following parable:

"Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: "The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, 'What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?' So he said, 'I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry."' But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?' So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God" (Luke 12:16-21).

Thank you for the response. I'll try to find ways to not let this get me down.