“Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach.” Deuteronomy 30:11
The other day my mother lie in her bed at the physical rehab hospital. She was tired and weak after finishing two hours of physical and occupational therapy. Although she makes progress daily, her recovery is slow, and due to her other health issues, the “goal” for her therapy is to just help her move through her daily routine without falling or being in too much pain. For a woman who once worked 12 hour days and took me on long bike rides from Miramar to Mandarin, gave up months of her life to sit with a friend in hospice, and loves to visit family and friends, sitting in bed unable to move on her own is very difficult for her. She wishes she could DO more, she dreams about traveling, playing with her grandchildren, walking on the beach. Have you ever felt that way? Sure, you might not be bed-ridden but do you ever feel stuck, unable to move where and how you want to in your life? I think we all experience that feeling that we could DO more and often this DOING requires MOVEMENT of some kind. Can’t get the house cleaned, chores done, errands run? Can’t find time to volunteer, visit a sick friend, or exercise?
We struggle to find ways to move efficiently through our days in order to get the most accomplished–this is not a bad thing necessarily. Moving efficiently is one of the key principles of Pilates. When we center and engage the core, our movements become more efficient. In fact, sometimes when looking at a more practiced Pilates student, the most intense work is done where there is very little movement. Which brings me back to the story of my mother in the hospital bed.
As my mother was resting and trying to cool off from her therapy sessions, her roommate came back from dialysis..and she was freezing. The nurses turned up the heat, just a bit, in consideration for my mother and helped the woman get into warm pajamas and wrapped her in several blankets. Unfortunately, the woman was still uncomfortable and cold. The heat was continually turned up..my mom began to feel hot and uncomfortable. Now, this is not the kind of uncomfortable that you or I would experience in a similar situation. My mother’s illness is exacerbated by heat and stress. Having no way to escape her room, my mother began to feel hot, and stressed…and weak. What could she DO? My mother could have chosen to explain how her condition was worsened in the heat and asked for the air to be turned back on..after all, this wasn’t just a comfort issue for her. Instead, she chose to DO a very hard thing…She gave up her comfort and strength so that the woman beside her could feel comfort and regain hers. Without even leaving her bed, my mother chose to give sacrificially to the other woman in the room. My mother knew that eventually the air would be back on and her comfort and strength would be restored…she had faith that she would get through. When I heard this unfolding (we were on the phone at the time) I was so excited for my mom and for the woman beside her. What a tremendous demonstration of giving with what you’ve got, of sacrificial service, of efficient movement!
There are many times when God asks us to make big movements in our lives: new jobs, new relationships, dealing with bad habits, or seek healing for hurt hearts. Other times we are asked to make small movements: sit and hold a child, visit with a friend, or just stay home with our family instead of being “busy” with life. Sometimes these things can get uncomfortable; in some cases the heat is turned up on us and we want to escape. However, we must sit in the place where God puts us until he tells us to move… and when He does, we must be ready to do so efficiently with our minds centered on Christ. Remember, whatever God is commanding of you today–whether it is to move or to be still–is neither too difficult or beyond your reach.