I have been doing physical therapy on my left ankle for the last two weeks. What can I say about it? It is repetitive and tedious. I move my ankle 40 times to the left and then to the right. (I would rather run 5 miles) I then take a stretch band and put one end over my ankle and hold the other end in my hand and pull slightly as I move my ankle up and down. Because I have issues with my toes not moving as they should, I also need to put a towel on the floor and ‘try to pick up the towel’ by curling my toes about 40 times. There are more exercises and all have to be done 3 times a day, but I won’t bore you with the details.
Though most of the exercises feel insignificant and puny and I don’t see instant results, I know I need to do them all persistently to have a strong ankle. But I want the end results now; I do not like this ‘one day at a time’ thing. I would like instant gratification, now!
It has been reminding me of my relationship with God. I want the connection; I want the peace and joy that comes from being connected to my creator. But I don’t always want to do the ‘exercises’ that I need to do to make it happen. I want the end result … living a life that serves and honors God, but I want to skip over the day by day training.
When I do my physical therapy exercises I can see and feel my ankle moving and ‘working’, but I cannot see anything happening in the inside. I cannot see or feel the tendons, muscles or bones getting any stronger in my ankle. I don’t get up from doing the exercises and find my ankle healed anymore than it was an hour earlier. I have to go by the information I have to know that something is slowly happening in there … my knowledge of how the body works and what the professionals, my doctor and physical therapist, tell me will result from doing the exercises daily.
Sometimes when I do my ‘spiritual exercises’, it is much the same way. I don’t feel or see anything happening in myself. While it can be a peaceful and calm process to read, pray, write and be still … I don’t emerge from the time being a ‘holy human.’ I am still me … at times, selfish, unkind and impatient, the whole package of a messy human. But I make a choice to believe what the Bible, my pastors and others I trust say … step by step, day by day … I am connected to my Creator and my soul is renewed, healed and strengthen.
Just like I would rather go on a run than do physical therapy … somedays I would rather write or speak about my walk with God, than actually walk with God. At times, I have to be intentional about reading the Bible, praying, journaling, and serving, because otherwise it just doesn’t happen. But only when I have done that am I then ready for the ‘long run’ that He calls me to. Spirit of God, help me ‘one day at a time.’
By the way … I have about 6 more weeks of therapy to go through … ugh. And God only knows if I will be able to run again. My doc doesn’t really think it is a realistic idea, he says due to all the injuries, my leg might be too compromised. So maybe I need to take up biking …