Back in January of 2014, I posted what turned out to be one of the more popular posts here on Spiritual Musclehead. It was about Lunks and Planet Fitness (you can read it here). It’s mostly popular around December-January. No clue why (okay, I do have some ideas but not going there). One of the things that Planet Fitness prides itself on is having no “gymidation” and being a judgment free zone. In other words, I shouldn’t feel like I’m back in junior high in the locker room before PE.
Another thing they pride themselves on is being against what they call lunks. According to Planet Fitness, a lunk is someone who drops the weights all the time, talks about how big their muscles are, and pretty much stares longingly into the mirror as they do bicep curls. Or something like that. Lunks are those who judge others lifting and exercise routine. Lunks are those who just are annoying at gyms and make people not want to go to them. Hence no “gymidation” and a judgment free zone.
It makes me wonder, how much judgment freeness is going on with banning lunks?
Recently I preached on the Good Samaritan. Long story short, Jesus tells the story of a certain man gets beaten and left for dead on the side of a road. A priest and a Levite, representatives of God and are required by God’s word to show love and mercy to those in need, walk right on by this man. On the other hand, a man of Samaritan ethnicity, an ethnic group at odds with the Jewish people at the time of Jesus, stops to help out the half-dead man. Not just that, but the Samaritan goes above and beyond what would be done to show love and mercy to this half-dead beaten up man. And Jesus says we are to go and do likewise.
I pondered this over the last few days and wondered what if the story involved a lunk. They deserve grace and mercy as well. They deserve the love of God as well. How far then should we love?
I’ve been spending more time at Planet Fitness and there are times while I’m exercising that I wonder who is and who isn’t the lunk amongst me. Here I am, having flashbacks to junior high PE class and I’m wondering who the lunk is amongst me. I look over at the free weights and see guys with big muscles lifting weights. Are they lunks? I look over at the older guys on the weight machines looking like their constipated trying to lift a large amount. Are they lunks?
More importantly, am I being part of the culture of the judgment free zone or am I myself falling into the trap of judging. Or, to put it another way, am I the priest, the Levite, or the Samaritan. Or even to twist it around even more–what about the story of the Good Lunk? Would I be able to accept that? Would I be able to accept mercy and love from a lunk?
Even though Planet Fitness says it’s a judgment free zone, I wonder how often do people judge (or is it just me and my own weirdness). I also wonder how often people realize that Jesus came to die for the lunks as well.
Jesus tells another story in the gospel of Luke about the great banquet feast of heaven. I wonder, how far does the love of Jesus go? Will I be sitting in between a kid who picked on me in the junior high PE locker room (yes, I still have flashbacks and issues with this, I’m working on it) and a lunk? I hope God’s grace in Jesus goes that far. And I hope that I can offer that same grace of forgiveness, love and mercy to lunks and all others as well.
How far can you love? Can you live out that love and mercy Jesus wants us to even to the lunks of life?