I’m not a boxer, let’s start by saying that…Haha…. and to be honest, I don’t know much about shadowboxing, but for some odd reason, in life, I have become an expert at it. The whole concept of shadowboxing has intrigued me for some time and it just became evident when I watched a video clip of a boxer preparing for a fight by using the technique. The boxer went through each step in his training to show how he faced his opponent (himself) to mentally grow muscles and prepare for the real fight ahead. Now the interesting thing is, although he had to mentally imagine his opponent in front of him while training, first he had the face himself, which meant he had to learn his strengths and weaknesses in the process. I had to laugh because at that moment, I realized that without even knowing it, we as Christians shadowbox with ourselves every day. Every day we fight against our former selves, the shadow of who we used to be, to become the person that God has called us to be. No matter how much we move or fight, we are facing an opponent who stands, walks, and punches just like we do. Let’s be honest, sometimes our shadow (who we used to be) punches harder and can knock us back into situations we thought we had overcome. The bad part about shadowboxing as a Christian is the shadow is attached to us and if we are not careful, like a mirror, that shadow will show us the truth about who we are.
Sometimes discouraged, we can give in to past behaviors, only to come to the realization that the fight against our past selves, built a muscle that allowed us to get back up to take another hit; a muscle called faith. This amazes me in so many ways because when thinking about shadowboxing, the technique conditions a fighter physically by allowing him to become aware of his or her movements and stance. It teaches them to mentally be ready for a bigger fight that’s about to take place. Now my name is not David, and I have no desire to fight a Goliath, but at the same time I have to think to myself, well…. didn’t God provide David with the necessary tools he needed to overcome the giant and to do it with ONE STONE!? So why wouldn’t I want to face a Goliath if I know my Lord and Savior has equipped me to overcome, even if the Goliath is ME!?
Now light drives away darkness, but for some odd reason shadows change direction depending on how light hits it. The funny thing is when facing the light, our shadow stays behind us. So the shadow of our past, or even our present can never hinder us when we are facing the Light of Christ. When our will becomes HIS will and our thoughts are engulfed in Him and become HIS thoughts, we become the REAL image of the Most high God and there is no need to focus on the shadow of the past.
Again, shadowboxing is meant to train, but we must not be consumed, as Paul would say, with beating air. We should have a definite goal, a prize that we aim for, bringing ourselves, including our past, under subjection. What I have learned is our past does not determine our present, and it cannot stop what God has in store for our future. I will win!
Philippians 3:13-14 (KJV): Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
1 Corinthians 9:26-27 (AMP): Therefore I do not run without a definite goal; I do not flail around like one beating the air [just shadow boxing]. But [like a boxer] I strictly discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached [the gospel] to others, I myself will not somehow be disqualified [as unfit for service].