Today was a day I felt every muscle in my glutes, hip flexors, quads, hamstrings and all the muscles that surround and support those areas on this body of mine. You see on Monday I worked out with Abby and she had me doing these squats and lunges. I was pretty proud of myself an hour after my workout. My thoughts included, “Wow, I did it!”, “it feels good to work out”, and “maybe those squats weren’t as bad as I thought.” Today my thoughts were different….
I wonder if you can you relate, the ache deep in your muscles, the deep ache you feel as you approach a set of stairs or the feeling that surely the toilet seat wasn’t that low yesterday when you sat on it. I felt like the simple movements of my day were interrupted by the reminder of my body…..
And then I begin to think about how the ache kept my goal of wellness and physical fitness in focus today. The ache reminded me of my journey and my desired destination. The ache motivated me to keep moving (even if it was a bit slower) and the ache was a vivid reminder that if I had worked out alone, I likely would not experience the same ache or the same benefit….
I am relieved to know my muscles will likely feel better tomorrow but the two-day ache experience has challenged me to think about what my heart aches for. The journey to my heart is not all kind words and warm fuzzies. The intense ache in my body is also a familiar feeling of my heart. I have recently ached for the people of Haiti, for tragic stories in our local news. for couples who sit in silence and emptiness in relationship and for children who are being missed by parents who are busy serving their Churches and Communities. I have ached in my own heart over words I have spoken or not spoken or attitudes I have carried in a moment or throughout a day.
I want to be aware of the aches of my heart and tend to the ache with kindness. To seek out a friend or confidant so I can share a bit about what brought the ache to the forefront and what it might need to resolve…sometimes my heart aches need truth, sometimes love, sometimes grace, sometimes understanding and sometimes conversation. Sometimes I need to be alone and wonder about God and His place in the ache and other times it is good to sit with a friend and gain insight and understanding.
I hope today I can listen and learn from the twinges of aching I feel in my heart….I hope you also might learn from what makes your heart ache…for I am learning that often when I take time to be curious, to listen and to share in community, I find God in places I did not even think to look….and that in itself makes aching worthwhile!