Summary: The only way we can succeed at the other spiritual lifehacks is to walk with God. But what does that look like, and how do we do it?
Spiritual Lifehacks -- Walking with Jesus
For the past few weeks I’ve shared with you various simple solutions for everyday problems, and related simple solutions to help us all get closer to God. Tonight we’re going to finish our series on Spiritual Lifehacks with a a method of exercise from our neighbor to the north.
In the late 1950s, the Royal Canadian Air Force developed the Five Basic Exercises, or 5BX, exercise program. It was designed to give pilots stationed in remote parts of Northern Canada with no access to gyms or other exercise equipment a method to reliably and habitually keep their bodies toned and physically fit enough for air combat. A little bit later, the XBX (10 Basic Exercises) program was developed for female pilots.
Here is a copy of the official RCAF 5BX and XBX training booklets. The entire program is designed to be performed in only 11 minutes, three times per week. The 5BX Plan is composed of six charts arranged in increasing order of difficulty. Each chart is composed of five exercises that are performed within 11 minutes. The first four exercises are calisthenics, and the last an aerobic exercise. As the individual progresses within the system, the number of each type of exercise that must be performed increases and the difficulty of each exercise increases.
In 1970, comedian George Burns remarked that he was a devoted user of the 5BX program. He died 26 years later, aged 100. In 2008, the RCAF changed the exercise regimen for their pilots, ending close to 50 years of 5BX and XBX use by Canadian pilots and civilians.
For men, the exercises include toe touching as a warm up for 2 minutes, partial sit-ups or crunches for 1 minute, leg lifts for 1 minute, push-ups for 1 minute, and ends in stationary running for 6 minutes.
For ladies, the exercises include toe touching as a warm-up for 30 seconds, knee raising for 30 seconds, arm circling for 30 seconds, partial sit-ups or crunches for 30 seconds, chest and leg raising for 2 minutes, side leg raising for 1 minute, push-ups for 2 minutes, leg lifting for 1 minute, and ends in a run and hop for 3 minutes.
As you can see, the 5BX and XBX programs are easy to do, and will allow you to stay fit without any need for specialized equipment. It can literally be done anywhere. For this reason it was a requirement for all RCAF pilots for close to 50 years. Just like the Royal Canadian Air Force, we have also been given a booklet of required exercises by our King -- the Bible. But the Bible contains so much, and it is so full of information, that it can be difficult to really understand what specifically our King, the Lord, requires of us! Thankfully, we are told specifically what is required! Turn with me to the book of Micah, chapter 6, verse 8.
“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
Well, that was succinct, wasn’t it? Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. That is the very definition of God’s standard of “goodness” and what our commitment to Him involves. Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.
But what does it mean to “act justly?” Justice is defined as “behavior or treatment based on or behaving according to what is morally right and fair.” So, be fair and moral. Easy enough, right? After all, the Bible says multiple times to be fair. One verse that typically stands out is Matthew 7:12:
“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”
We know this passage as the “Golden Rule”, but in reality, this is Jesus reminding the people yet again that justice is important to God. It’s interesting also to see that the verse says to “act justly”. This is important because it’s really easy for us to say that we want justice, but we must be willing to take appropriate action to ensure that people are treated justly -- otherwise we’re being insincere.
Please don’t misunderstand me -- we can’t control what other people do, nor should we try to. There is a lot of injustice in the world -- that’s because the world is fallen and full of sin. We see this every time we turn on the news. Just today I saw a video where a cop shot an unarmed man in the back eight times in South Carolina. We’re not in South Carolina, we’re not close to South Carolina, and I don’t think God really expects us all to pick up and drive 6 hours to South Carolina because of this injustice. All we can really do is pray and seek God’s advice on these situations. However, we can also make sure that we treat other people around us with justice. Can you imagine how the world would change if everyone made sure they treated other people with fairness and justice in everything they did?