Today, after I finished my run on the treadmill, I walked upstairs at our apartment gym and started lifting weights. Even though I consider myself in pretty good shape, the past month has been busy and working out has not been at the top of my priority list. As I was doing bicep curls, I was cringing because I felt out of practice, like I was out of the habit of working my muscles in that way.
Some seasons I move very fast, other seasons I’m in a better habit of moving more intentionally and creating space for God to move. In seasons when I’m moving fast, as I try to put the breaks on, it’s a similar feeling to my muscles burning as I lift weights. As I try to learn more about grace and breathe deeper breaths, an action that does not come naturally to me, my muscles are burning; they are being asked to act in a way that is strengthening them in the long term, but hurting them in the present. Just like I love how defined my arm muscles are when I’m working out regularly, I love how present God feels when I take time to slow down and enjoy Him.
But it takes practice. Can’t I just be there now, God? My soul aches to know and experience You more, but this process of slowing down is just difficult. I’m being asked to say no to things that are good, they’re just not of You. I’m re-evaulating my priorities and starting to understand that they don’t honor you right now. Can’t I just skip to the good stuff? Can I see the fruit of my labor? But practice makes perfect. Maybe in this situation, it wouldn’t make perfect, but it will make You more present, Lord.
Practice leads to greater presence.
Building space into my day for grace is a practice. I’m out of it. But, I’m easing back into it. I’m slowing myself down, even though I don’t feel like I have time for it. I’m seeking the Lord to direct me. I’m asking Him what exercises will get me there. And hopefully, just like consistent work-outs leave me less sore, the practice of slowing down and letting God lead will allow more space for grace and the presence of God more clearly.