The Calling of Jack LaLanne

Jack LaLanne died Sunday, Jan. 23, at age 96. The New York Times obituary called him the “founder of the modern fitness movement.” His television program ran for decades and established him as America’s First Figure of Exercise and Fitness. I seem to recall organ music in his opening introduction.

LaLanne was synonymous with exercise. His cause was fitness. Think of him, and his passion comes to mind. He practiced it, he preached it, he sang about it, he showed how to do it. The NYT said it was “his calling.”

The Christian, too, has a calling, a mission, a cause. It is the preaching of the gospel. But many saints have lost the calling. They have missed the mission. The cause has been called off. Church has become a social event, a pep talk, a personal development program. The gospel turned into a self-consumption product.

I know a few people who, like Jack LaLanne, are synonymous with the gospel. A few. Why are there not more? Are you one of them?

Jesus so identified with his mission that he practiced it, he preached it, he sang about it, he showed how to do it.

His language was full of talk — and not just talk — about the will of God, pleasing the Father, being sent by his Father, giving his life for the lost, seeking and saving the lost. His life was caught up in redemption.

And he wills that we be caught up as well in saving others. Not through a paid staff, not through a building, not through a weekly meeting, but personally, daily, an every-moment, every-person mission.

When we die, be it early or late, what will people automatically associate with us? May it be the Good News of Jesus Christ.

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