Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Eternal Optimist

                I’ve been working with a personal trainer for the last several months. He’d been working with my husband for several months already and it was making a definite difference for him, so I decided I would try it. My initial emotions swung on a pendulum. They started with, “Are you kidding me? I can hardly move.” to “OK, I guess this is not so bad.” One day as Marcos was putting the weights on the leg press I gave him a dubious look and said, “You, my friend, are an eternal optimist.” There were 50kg of weight on it that he expected me to lift. He laughed and said, “Sit down.” Turns out I was able to do it and he probably could have added another 10kg. I keep this in mind as he barks at me like a drill sergeant while I do ab crunches on the mat.
            The fact is that these few months with the trainer have made a difference in several areas. First, I’m losing inches fast. He targets the areas that need the most work and combines the right amount of weight with the ideal number of repetitions. Second, my posture has improved and pain is limited to the ache of just having not used a particular muscle for a long time. Third, he pushes me to do more than I would if I were doing it by myself. I would probably quit after one rep.  And fourth, it relieves stress which has been the most beneficial effect of all.
            My life is stressful. I know there are others who deal with stress and still others who deal with issues that are even more stressful than mine. Stress is part of life and it will always be there. But, let me give you a peek at my life for this week. My husband’s away taking care of business for a couple of days. I’m here taking care of my mother in-law who has some serious health issues. She fell trying to get to the bathroom the other night. There is a young people’s purity seminar this Saturday and we will be housing the guest speaker and his wife. I’m also cooking the meals on Saturday with another local pastor’s wife. My children are both in the States working and going to school and regularly have issues that need our attention. My in-laws and parents are both making some major decisions that may not directly affect me, but are on my mind. And so it goes…
            A facebook friend posted the following quote by an unknown author, "Those who bless God in their trials will be blessed by God through their trials." I immediately thought of Job. He had some serious stress in his life compounded by grief. Job was a good example of righteous suffering. However, he was not without his low points. A Bible college professor once commented, “It did take him 42 chapters to get through it.” I sometimes feel a little like Job, but I also try to remind myself that many times I’m just feeling sorry for myself.
            So, I think back to the personal trainer and the benefits of working with him. Is there any correlation? Is there any way to handle stress in a manner that is pleasing to God? Well, I’m losing interest in the enticements of the world and a carefree life. He never said life would be easy.  My posture and dependence on God are improving and becoming stronger. It’s only by His grace I’m not in the psych ward of the hospital. God is pushing me past the limits I had perceived for myself. It’s at those times I am reminded that I’m not alone. And, when I give the burdens and stress to Him there is a peace that comes that I cannot explain.
            Last night I thought I was at the end of my rope. I really thought that the Lord had handed me more than I could bear. I spent a lot of time in prayer and it would be nice to say I slept like a baby. I didn’t, but I can make it through today. I did ask Him to please bring verses to mind that would help me get through this crisis. This morning I remembered this.  “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” (James 1:2-3, NKJV) OK. I’ll do it, but as I face the leg press of life I can’t help but send a dubious look toward Heaven and say, “You, Lord, are an Eternal Optimist.” I picture Him smiling and saying, “Sit down.”

1 comment:

  1. Sit down, friend, and take the load off your feet for a bit! Then go out and pick up the weights again and do it with gusto and pep!

    Good post!

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