We understand that getting in shape happens over the accumulation of our lives. It is an endeavor that is acquired over a lifetime, whether it’s physical or spiritual growth that shapes us into the image we desire to obtain. Getting in shape is a pursuit that requires patience, endurance, diligence, faith and perseverance, which are attributes to grow us both physically and spiritually.

Therefore, we should have obtainable goals that can be accomplished over time. And envision dreams to build upon as our lives are being shaped by experiences, people, diversity of culture and customs. We are cultivated spiritually as our relationship with Christ shapes us to have more of the gospel character. Whatever we aspire to do in life as Christians, we understand that our gifts and talents will make room for us as God is a part of what we’re doing.

“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” — 3 John 1:2

After many adversities in life, wisdom found me as I’ve been accustomed to routine workouts at the gym and trying to eat healthy. She spoke as I meditated during a workout, and I understood that I work out to keep in shape and Jesus keeps me alive. My perspective changed and I received in my spirit a deep revelation that God is in control, and may we never lose sight of that as we set out to do extraordinary things in life.

The defining moments in our lives refines us. As we persevere, we will find that there’s a price to pay, enduring obstacles to overcome and challenges we didn’t see coming. As these difficulties are measured to shape our character, there’s also a reward that is spiritually discerned, and we understand as Christians we’re being molded by Christ on the Potter’s wheel.

Because we give the sacrifice of praise, which is our reasonable service and our lives to Jesus Christ, He becomes the cornerstone of what we endeavor for. He’s then in our every moment, as we dream envisioning our lives and setting goals. He gives us gifts and talents, and others may plant seeds rather in our hearing and vision, but God gives the increase. He also may as well plant the seed, water and give the increase. In either respect, He gets all the glory for spinning the wheel in our lives.

So as we accomplish those things in which we set out to do, may we understand the stature of success, which is not measured or legitimized by the world’s standard. But it is measured by our staying power, the faith it took to see the other side of experience, the end of the adversity and soul enlightenment. Our spirits are then filled with incomparable counsel, ministry only God can give and no man can take away from us. This is success in life. Booker T. Washington said it this way, “I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.”

When our heart’s sincerity finds such a place, then our very souls and spirits are being shaped by extraordinary measures. And lives adjacent to us will feel the sincerity and how magnetic genuine growth is and how it refines one to be distinguished and set apart. This visage is a shape that is first established within each individual and permeates the atmosphere by an enriched soulful essence and a peculiar people in Christ. In either respect, you will attract those who are thirsty and hungry to feed upon that in which has shaped you. This is the rhythm of the gospel character and the sound of the word of God exemplified in your life.

Pamela Young is a native of Goldsboro, a 1990 graduate of Goldsboro High School and the author of two books. Share your thoughts and ideas about the column with Pamela at pyoung-col@newsargus.com.