I am learning to be patient these days and keep in step with the Lord. It’s not always easy, because I love to plan and live by my calendar! I like having things all mapped out in advance.
So naturally, I had my week all carefully arranged, and then I got hit with this sinus infection. In short order, here’s what happened:
- All worked stopped. Since there was a big work event scheduled for Saturday, I had to let my supervisor know thay I would not be able to make it. I could have forced myself to go, but knew that God was calling me to rest. My choice was simple, but not easy: Would I obey Him?
- No exercise, either. So much for my Pilates classes this week! I usually like to exercise about three times per week (I stretch every day, though – I have to, due to having tight neck/back muscles), but truth be told, I have not worked out since Sunday. And do you know what? I am fine. Sure, I miss going to class, but it’s worth resting my body while I’m recovery mode.
- I may not make it to church on Saturday. This one grieves my heart as I love going to church, but I believe in a concept that I call “sanctified rest” – sometimes (definitely not all the time or regularly), when your body is weak and you are tired, the kindest and most God-honoring thing that you for yourself and others is to rest. And no, I do not plan on making “sanctified rest” a weekly habit, but if I still feel unwell tomorrow, then I will give myself a little grace and stay home. Who knows? After having rested, I may feel better by Sunday and go to service then.
For me, the net-net of all of this is as follows: I made plans – good ones, too! – but God changed them. I realized that I could get frustrated and upset, or accept what was happening, and change my perspective on my circumstances. I chose the latter and here’s how I did that:
- I’m grateful for sick time that I can use at work, so there is no loss of income for the day I’ll be away. Also, my supervisor was incredibly gracious about everything, too.
- I’m learning to better appreciate how God heals and strengthens our bodies through rest. Why should I put my body under further stress and strain while exercising when I am ill? Doing so may even negatively impact my recovery from this sinus infection, and who wants that?
- As my relationship with Jesus is not predicated on legalism, I know that if I have to miss church one weekend, it’s fine (although not ideal for me, as I quite enjoy the services). I do not plan to make a habit of it, but going to a place full of people when I KNOW I am ill simply seems… unkind.
I decided to shift my attitude and accept the gift of unexpected rest that the Lord sent my way. Today, I cranked up the humidifier (breathing is a blessing!) and switched on an audiobook. I made it all the way through the first book of the Chronicles of Narnia series, and remembered how satisfying it is to simply hear a story unfold, without any other distractions.
I also had the chance to be on WordPress during the day – something I rarely am able to do – and was blessed by several of the posts that I read.
God changed my plans, but I believe that I am remaining spiritually agile and simply going along with His flow. On the whole, I’ve noticed that things certainly seem to go more smoothly this way.
What about you? How do you feel, think and behave when your plans get up-ended? In my view, we have two choices: either respond in faith and hope, or embrace fear and frustration. What will your choice be?