For some time now, I’ve wanted to start a daily stretching routine. Regular exercise and stretching are generally very helpful to those who suffer from fibromyalgia. They can boost energy, ease pain and stiffness, lift mood, and improve sleep. Unfortunately, being stiff and in pain, sleeping poorly and having little energy is generally NOT very conducive towards implementing such a program. Kind of a vicious cycle.
Despite my lack of discipline in this area, I nonetheless have very good muscle flexibility. I find stretching in itself to be very enjoyable but struggle with the consistency part. So for day 14 of My 30-day Challenge, I decided I would set in motion this diurnal discipline, with the intention of continuing to maintain it.
As I began my first exercises, I could feel the pull in my muscles… a sensation I actually really like. It tells me that something is happening; that I’m engaging in movements that my body is not accustomed to. There were plenty of creaks, cracks and crunches as I slowly but deliberately stretched calves, thighs, hips, lower back, and shoulders. I tried to focus on breathing properly, as I have a tendency to hold my breath when exercising.
Inevitably, my thoughts always drift
to spiritual parallels.
Stretching. And being stretched.
I admit I am quite the adventurer.
While I appreciate a certain
amount of stability,
I get bored easily when life settles
into a stable and predictable rhythm.
I tend to thrive in the face
of challenge, change and crisis.
It’s when I feel that God is calling me
to walk in new depths of understanding
of all that He has taught me.
Of who He has created me to be.
When I wade into uncharted waters,
I begin to experience that same groaning
that my muscles silently emit
as they’re stretched.
I can, of course, choose to resist
being pulled and molded
by life’s experiences…
but then I will remain stiff and inflexible.
I so desire to be shaped
by God’s precious Spirit.
To surrender myself as clay
in His capable hands,
to be prodded and pulled,
honed and refined,
so that I may reflect
He, the creator,
the One who knew me even before
I was formed
in my mother’s womb, comprehends fully
who I am and who,
by His grace,
I am capable of becoming.
So stretch me, Lord. Loosen up all that is stiff and stagnant! Restore, refine, redeem!
I place my trust in you, and I know I shall not be disappointed!
Yet you, Lord, are our Father.
We are the clay,
you are the potter;
we are all the work of your hand.