~ Take the plunge into God’s sea of blessings ~
I’ve been putting it off and putting it off. Finally I gave in. It was time to pull on my swimsuit (ugh), and head to the local YMCA for some warm water aerobics. Some of you may think this does not qualify as “real” exercise, but when the body has been allowed to “go to seed” one has to start somewhere, right? Besides I was in the good company of “Silver Foxy” ladies and felt right at home.
Most of the exercisers have been coming to the YMCA for years, and knew which exercise was coming next. Instead of listening to the instructor, they were chitchatting away in little groups. Me? I had to strain to hear instructions, for I was born with two right hands and two left feet which have minds of their own and insist on going in all directions. But I am there to corral them, and they will learn.
The little lady, in a bright purple swimsuit, standing near me in the pool, said that she comes twice a week to get limbered up. If she doesn’t come, her body stiffens up, keeping her in bondage to old age (my words, not hers). Doing exercises in warm water gives her freedom to keep moving. I admire her spunk and motivation. I should take lessons from her.
Then there’s a lady who lives in a wheelchair because of her disability. The chair is her constant companion which propels her from room to room, but she never has the opportunity to get her circulation moving from head to toe. The only time she feels her body is more friend than a foe, is when she’s in the pool. Buoyed by the water, she swims lap after lap. Her hands splash in the water and move her along. For those minutes, she is free. The onlookers cheer her on ~ what a nice bonus!
So where do I fit in? Their hair may be whiter than mine. I may be more out of shape than most of them, so I need to join them and stick it out as long as they have to improve my health. Is there any other benefit? Surprisingly, yes. On my way to the YMCA, I drive by the cemetery where my son is buried. I have to keep a firm hand on the wheel, or I will automatically turn in. All the emotions of loss and coping come rushing over me. And the negative thoughts begin to churn in my head: Why do you need exercise? Why not just skip it? Nobody will know or miss you, so why bother?
But I keep going. I park my car, walk in, and step down into the pool. Ahhh. Wet, warm comfort envelops me. Yes, I move my body parts against the water’s resistance in an attempt to stave off the “flab” of gravity under the scowling face of Father Time. But something else happens. I receive an unexpected blessing ~ my spirits get bathed, too. I did not anticipate this to happen. No one there will ever suspect that I am a lifetime griever. The flab they can see; nowhere can it hide. But no one can see the invisible scars on my heart.
Now I look forward to being soothed and embraced by splashes of warm water, which will eventually bring better health to my body. It will also bring a brief respite from emotional pain in my mind and heart. Perhaps there are readers who will consider trying this, too. Blessings can be found in the most unexpected places.
I watched a lady on crutches after surgery (many surgeries, so said some ladies) find her freedom. She dove in the water head first, getting wet from head to toe, and coming up to gulp sweet air. A smile broke across her face. For a few minutes she was free. No need for crutches and no fear of putting weight on the injured knee.
That’s me, Lord. I don’t dive, but I want to plunge into your sea of blessings, and come up drenched and grateful to be alive. May Your sweet blessings cling to my spirit, allowing just a bit more healing today than yesterday. Descend on me Your gentle rain, soft like the dew on blades of grass. And Lord, please bless every reader who grieves. I know very few names, but You know them all. Splash over them, drenching them in Your comfort and peace. Thank You, amen.
“Let my teachings come down like raindrops. Let my words drip like dew, like gentle rain on grass, like showers on green plants.” Deuteronomy 32:2 GW