THE RACE – PART 1 (1 Cor 9.24-27 NIV)
For four months I have experienced a physical training that has taught me spiritual principles. Paul speaks in these verses of not running aimlessly, fighting air, rather training and disciplining his body to run the race to get the prize. To do that, he was clear what that prize, that race, was for.
When muscles go into spasm you need to stop and adjust. The pain is just too intense. I was sent for x-rays, initial checks for breast cancer or bone malformations. Routine. All came back normal. I’d already had healing prayer, and the swelling had gone down from constant impact, but a hard lump remained from which the pain radiated to my whole left upper body.
I went to my Physiotherapist who had not seen me for 4 years, and discovered that my left collarbone had been pulled so taut by my muscles that it had changed position, which was creating a cycle of pain.
We stopped all upper body exercise until we have manipulated the bone back into place (ouch). We began constant stretches and weekly manipulation, with training and cycling for lower body and heart, and core body strength to allow the upper body to relax and be supported. It is proving fruitful.
One key is POSTURE.
In order for any of these things to work, they have to be done within a framework. The physical framework is relearning posture, stance.
The next key is STOPPING.
If you are like I was, you throw yourself into things and you get focussed. What I am having to train myself to do, currently, is to STOP. For me, for now, that means every 20 minutes!! It means I refocus, stretch my body. Often, it means I drop some things I thought were important. This takes enormous discipline.
The next key is BREATHING.
My issue since childhood was hyperventilation. Which means that muscles store up something which is damaging to them. So when I stop I have to train myself to breathe properly from my diaphragm.
The next key, RELAXATION.
Deciding where and when to take time for yourself. Knowing yourself and your needs. Just being.
The next key, SOAKING.
Stopping to lie on your back and soak. What do I mean by ‘soak’? Taking what you know of the Scriptures and God, whilst putting music on, and lying down. Then focussing on Him even for 5 minutes. The Holy Spirit ministers to you and you emerge refreshed.
In the next post (PART 2), I will share what paving stones this experience is laying in my life.