i have a friend, she writes beautiful words. some of her recent words read like a script in my head. these are the lines i've spoken, the dance i've done.
since an injury last summer, i haven't been as active as i would have liked. i can feel that my body has gotten softer, changed shape. my clothes don't fit. what i see in the mirror doesn't match the body in my head, i feel like i don't belong in my own skin. i can see evidence in places where muscle definition used to exist, but what's there now seems unfamiliar. the landscape has changed, and i don't know where i am.
workouts are harder, leave me stiff and sore for days. i am remembering what this feels like, relearning how to move, how to stand, how to breathe. i am surprised to find myself slower, weaker, less flexible.
i get the same feeling when i haven't been in the Bible as much as i would like. i forget things, i lose focus. like He calls my name, reaches for me, but His hand only barely brushes my sleeve as i breeze through the door. later on, i wonder why He didn't fight harder for me. i accuse Him, i shift the blame. but He was always in pursuit; i was the one who got distracted, who turned and walked away.
now, back in that wonderful book, i am starting to recognize some things. the words sound familiar, their message feels like nourishment to brittle bones, sore muscles, a weak heart. i see signposts everywhere--my handwriting in the margins, well-worn pages, notes from friends, evidences that i once knew this place. i lived here once, this was my home. it doesn't feel like that yet, it still seems new, but already it feels so much better than where i've been. like the softness of your own sheets after a long week away.
Paul says "I beat my body, and make it a slave, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified." it's a picture of discipline so purposeful, so complete. a subtle warning against laziness and apathy, a reminder to keep our eyes fixed on the goal. to run with purpose. to persevere.