A few years back I had some low back pain that after a week or two became acute a week before Thanksgiving. My current profession is personal fitness trainer and I teach my clients to develop a strong core to keep the low back healthy and I practice this in my own life. Having had a surgery the prior spring forced me to cut back on my core work and muscles became weak. Injury happened.
I also teach my clients that movement originates from the navel center area of the body and I got to prove that theory. With my low back pain, just about every move I made hurt, including sneezing. I did the usual self care, doc, chiropractor, physical therapy. Progress was slow. I spent a lot of time flat on my back. Health care providers decided an MRI would be prudent and I took a trip to the neurosurgeon in early December. I got good news, no surgery was necessary; he said I was just going through a rough patch. He told to take the rest of the year off from work and to rest as much as I could. So, I did as I was told. I cut out almost all activities and I got better. I got better not just physically, but mentally and spiritually. I began to appreciate once again having time in my life. I also realized that previously had little or no time in my life, that had been distracted from the main thing by being over busy, and I am beginning to understand the philosophy less is more and that I had been given a great gift.
A while ago I had come to realize that modern conveniences added to my problem of over busyness. Because I felt I “needed” things to make more time in my life. But in reality, these things took more of my time because I simply packed more and more in. I had to work more to purchase and pay for all this convenience. Not only was modern technology part of the problem but I thought that I had to be a human doing; I forgot I was a human being.
During this “resting time” I have begun to understand that I had fallen prey to similar stinking thinking about finding God. I incorrectly thought that to find God I had to be on five committees, sing in the choir, be a “trophy Christian”, and run myself ragged in the middle of it all. I had little time left for an actual relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
I was also under the misconception and my culture had taught me that to have value I had to be Super Mom, Wonder Wife or Career Queen, and I bought it hook line and sinker. I have decided to hang up the cape and store those boots in the closet.
I ran on that treadmill for a long time, until I had the gift of unexpected rest and space reentered my life. And time was no longer the enemy, because I was longer racing against it. Jesus even had to teach the religious teachers how to get it right, listen here:
One of the Teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
“The most important one” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”
Mark 12:28-30 (NIV)
I concluded that my theme for the New Year was back to basics and I think that is what Jesus was telling this spiritual leader in our passage from Mark. He said, “It’s pretty simple, there is one God. And finding Him does not depend on chasing down the six hundred religious laws and rules, the most important thing is this: To love God with every fiber of your being.” I can’t do that if I got no time, doesn’t mean I become a couch potato, at least not all day; but perhaps some of the day. Doesn’t mean I am not working, but I think I will work smarter and not harder. Doesn’t mean I don’t have modern conveniences, I am just not going to worship them or the desire have them all. Doesn’t mean I won’t be involved in worthy causes, just those I feel God calling me to. No more guilty “yeses.” You know, the yes that you really wanted to be a “no thank you”. I signed up for the less is more plan.
We don’t need to over do and over have to enjoy life. Shall we join Christ and make time to love the One God and others with all of ourselves?
Might be just what the doctor ordered. Let’s get back to basics, shall we?
Be joy filled always,