In the last several months, stretching became a familiar routine in my life. Literally. But yesterday, it expanded to a metaphorical one as well.
Before my accident, I exercised somewhat regularly so stretching was an essential part of keeping my body from harm. When I tried to eliminate it in order to save a few minutes of time, I felt the consequences. Pain. The muscles require attention in order to achieve a goal. The resulting ache reminded me that warming up and cooling down was dismissed. And sometimes, injury results.
But, like many things in life, pain is not always an indicator of things gone wrong. Sometimes it means we are doing something right. Yesterday, I was all too aware of that reality both physically and metaphorically. We live in bodies that ache toward restoration.
As I endured my last physical therapy appointment for a while, I realized how far I’ve come….and how far I have yet to go. My muscles atrophied due to limited use of my arm. In order to achieve greater mobility, I must do my physical therapy exercises everyday, increasing repetitions. And that hurts. But in this case, discomfort is necessary to reach toward a goal of greater mobility and a sense of wholeness. Intentionally reaching toward discomfort feels contrary to human nature.
As I reel from all the unexpected implications of brokenness, I recognize that the need to stretch isn’t just for the health of my physical being but my emotional and spiritual ones as well. Complacency beckons but I turn my ear toward the voice who formed me, sees me, and holds me. His hands are still at work.
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