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Intrinsic Strength

So, I’ve blogged about this before and probably will again, but it’s what I needed to hear this week. I had a rough week. Despite (or maybe because of) our goal to get more sleep, I’ve been exhausted–insomnia, added health issues, hormonal things. It’s been rough. And I’ve done a wretched job of getting up in the morning and having my quiet time. Normally, my children will protest and/or suggest I go spend some time with Jesus when I haven’t done my Bible study (they know “mean mommy” comes out if I haven’t spent my time with Jesus). This week they didn’t for whatever reason and I just ran from one thing to the next or spent my time being ill-er than usual.

This morning in my Tai Chi class, we talked about intrinsic strength. We talk about this fairly often. Basically, it’s the strength we all gain when we align with gravity and ground ourselves on the earth. It’s the thing we take advantage of when we relax and lift with our legs. One way I’ve gotten in touch with this feeling is to pick up something (~5lbs or more). Try tensing your muscles. Now try relaxing them. Lean to one side or the other. Lean back. Lock your knees (briefly! you don’t need to pass out). When your body is aligned with gravity and your muscles are relaxed, the weight passes through your body and into the ground. You can feel it pushing your feet into the earth.

This is what our spiritual walk is like. I so often get tensed up, whether it’s out of fear or the belief I need to DO something. When we’re tensed, the stressor can’t just pass through us into the One who is holding us up. My Tai Chi instructor likes to say it’s like a kink in a garden hose. When I try to carry my problems with my own energy, it’s exhausting. When I simply allow them to pass through me to the ground, and allow the ground to bear their weight, I can still feel them, but they aren’t overwhelming me. Can the ground handle all the weight of everything on the earth? Obviously–it already is. So that’s half the equation.

The other half is staying connected to the ground. This sounds simple, but it’s really not (at least for me). It means not focusing on my thoughts, my plans, etc., etc. It means putting my full weight on the ground and relaxing into its strength, rather than trying to carry myself. God is our ground. He’s our firm foundation, our anchor. When we don’t spend time being still before Him, we forget who He is, we lose touch with Him. He’s always there–just like the ground.

The beauty of this approach is that it doesn’t matter what circumstances throw at us–God is more than capable of handling them. He already does carry them.

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