I am stretched. I am sure that you know the feeling; being pulled in one direction and another, trying to meet this need or that demand, having to do so much in so little time.
Due to circumstances beyond my control, I have found myself stretched almost too thin.
So on Monday as I was attempting to run, the image of stretching came to mind. As I have shared before, I am not a runner, nor do I particularly like the process of running. However, I do like the benefits of running. I have more stamina in tennis (which is the only type of running I like- going after the ball) and I like the feel of my muscles getting tauter and toned. Even two days after my run/walk I can feel my tightened thigh muscles. It makes me feel that I have used them.
But in order to protect myself from injury, I need to properly stretch. If I don't, any movement or carrying that I do, can cause major injury. If I absolutely had to, I might be able to run 5 miles without stretching, but come the next day, I wouldn't be able to walk. It is those times that I am reminded of the preparation needed. I need to gently pull and lengthen my muscles so that they can handle new strains through running or lifting. Stretching gives me flexibility and pliability.
Sometimes life causes us to have to quickly move in our attitudes, our plans or even our physical lifestyle. We may be traveling through life, minding our own business and quite content with how we live our lives. But something may occur that calls us to reevaluate our situation, our beliefs, or our dreams. Some thing or things happen and we are stretched.
It is those moments that are the sudden sprints in our lives. We are forced to move. We may be called to situations for which we are totally unprepared and have no resources. We get caught between one onslaught of bad news to another. We feel like everyone has a piece of us. We are being pulled like Stretch Armstrong.
The thing is, life is all about moving. It is inevitable. I need to be emotionally and mentally prepared to move just like I need to stretch before a run. I have to keep my attitude pliable and my viewpoint flexible. I cannot remain rigid but be open to new possibilities and changes in life circumstances.
I have found that gratitude goes a long way in preparing my stretched mental muscles. I practice what I call mental muscle memory: I reframe the problem/annoyance/disappointment into an opportunity. I remember my blessings. I remind myself how God provided in past times. His past provision helps me handle the future better. After all, at one time, the past was the future and it worked out.
What about you? How flexible are you? Are you pliable? Do you absolutely refuse to go along with a new situation? Do you fight for the status quo? What do you do to remain supple? Are you stretched or stretchable?
Because of this stretching time of my life (getting my dad settled into his new residence, etc.) please bear with me as I may not be as consistent with my M,W,F posts. Sign up to receive the newest posting on the subscribe box below.