What goes through your mind when you hear those words?
Strength & Conditioning Training / Sports Performance?
Painful, exhausting thoughts of straining and struggling through a strenuous workout?
Holding a difficult position as stably as possible for far longer than any human being should have to much less be able to?
And just why would anyone put themselves through any or all of the above? Do tell!
Hmmm...maybe to "improve performance and prevent injuries"...hmmmm...okay, yeah, maybe that's it. At least according to the subtitle of one of my husband's Strength & Conditioning books.
I must admit, as much as those thoughts are all quite excruciating to me...it does make sense. You know the physical side of it, I'm sure. You work to target strengthening your "core" muscles so that you can have more stability. You work to build up your endurance so that you can, well, endure (without passing out rather embarrassingly on the floor). Ultimately both make you more healthy and more safe in your everyday life because you end up taking strain off of the wrong muscles and joints as well as taking strain off of a weak cardiovascular system...because you have strengthened the right muscles, including your heart.
Why do we need to work to strengthen our core and increase our endurance?
So we can stand strong and endure, with grace, days like my today.
Thankfully it wasn't one of those out-right BAD days. It was just one of "those" days. You know...you've had 'em. Nothing is going horribly wrong, but you just don't feel "right".
Work wasn't difficult, but it was a bit taxing on the energy. Then, I found out I didn't know about a wedding shower of a dear relative-to-be and would have to miss it because of other necessary life plans. Those life plans being that I had to take two very heavy loads of laundry over to my dear sister's house to wash and dry, since I (truly led by the Lord, though I may sound like I am complaining at the moment) actually decided to give away our great condition washer and dryer a year and a half ago when we did not need them at the time. (I NEVER get rid of stuff...EVER...but I DID do this, and I DO NOT regret it...it's just a little taxing at the moment, now that we need one again.) Then, as I was walking out of the house with the two heavy loads...the bottom was falling out of the sky...yes, it was raining cats and dogs! Oh, well. Thank the Lord for ballcaps! So, on my brief jaunt to dear sister's house, I turned on the radio, needing and wanting to hear some soothing and encouraging Christian music...and, of course...NEITHER of the two stations I like the most were coming in AT ALL!!! (Thanks to the lovely downpour, I suppose.) Thankfully my husband nor my sister and her family witnessed the moment of emotion that briefly overtook me and had me shedding a few releasing tears. Sometimes you just need a few moments alone.
All of that to say that, if I had not been targeting my "core" and seeking to increase my endurance...all spiritually speaking now...without His Strength and Calming Reassurance...I would have quite possibly completely fallen apart and gone to utter pieces. I would have continued to wallow in self-pity, rather than tightening those core muscles and pressing through with Endurance I could never have on my own. I may have even gotten injured either by my own self and/or by someone who really didn't mean to cause me any pain, much less injury.
No, thankfully He reminded me that:
- I HAVE a job (that is quite a nice set-up at the moment) and though that job can be a little taxing sometimes, it's much better than what many have or even don't have
- and that we are now close enough geographically to a large portion of our family that even when we have to miss some of the special gatherings, we will have plenty more opportunites for getting together with them in the days to come...something I longed for when we lived thousands of miles away for two years
- and that My family and I HAVE clothes that get dirty (and still have clothes to wear when those are dirty...remember...I don't get rid of hardly ANYTHING! )
- and that we HAVE a house (that does not have a washer and dryer, but so what!?! That family that needed it far more than we did is surely still using it and may not have had other alternatives like we do in our time without the duo.)
- and that He does send the rain...not always at what we feel are the most opportune times, but when He knows we need it most
- and that sometimes I need to just sit in silence and listen to the rain...He speaks through the rain
- and that I was able to spend some dear, sweet, unassuming time with my sister and her family...while washing my family's stinky dirty laundry
- and quite possibly the best reminder of all that He gave me was that "This too shall pass!"
When times are tough...or just so-so...or even good...tighten that CORE and press on with endurance...for "This too shall pass!"
And then, don't forget to "Relax...God's in charge!"