Philippians 3:14 I press toward the mark, for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
As the holiday season kicks off, many of us are looking to get a head start on improving our physical fitness for 2015. I saw many pictures on Facebook from Thursday’s “Turkey Trotters:” people that braved the cold and left their turkeys roasting at home to run, walk, skip and jog all in the name of fun and fitness.
One thing that I’ve noticed that is paramount for endurance during a run or any type of physical exercise is taking the time to stretch. Some people do it before they exercise, others after a brief warm-up, some at the end of their routine and any combination during those times.
Stretching is an important component to strengthening the body.
Stretching is meant to protect the body from injury during the upcoming exercise. When exercising, we push our bodies beyond what they may normally be accustomed to. The body needs to be prepared for this activity. So, we stretch. And sometimes it’s a strain. It may hurt a little…make you groan. But hey, you know you need it.
In life, we’re faced with “stretching moments” almost daily. We’re called beyond our comfort zones to face life’s demands. Sometimes we see those obstacles coming, and a lot of times we don’t.
Why does God provide these stretching moments? Why does He ask us to do and say things that we think are impossible, maybe intimidating and down-right hard? Simply because. He loves us. He’s training us for that extra, maybe unforeseen mile to endure. For the obstacles we have yet to face, He’s preparing us for the victory, now.
It’s how we deal with these stretching moments that makes the difference. It’s in these moments we either grow or stay stagnate.
In those moments when it would be easier to give up and quit. Stay. Try.
When you have to say good-bye, do it.
When it would be easier to just keep quiet. Say, “I’m sorry.” First.
When it would be easier to make excuses and not show up. Show up. Early.
When it would be easier to brush them to the side. Extend grace.
Choose to embrace and feel the stretch. Reach. Bend. He does it for us. Let’s do it for Him. And after the sweet release that will come at the end of your stretching, you’ll have a greater range of flexibility. You can jump over that next hurdle or climb that next hill a little easier than before, because you’ve been strengthened.
You chose to embrace the stretch.
I pray this messages blesses you, my friend.