Hebrews 12:2 NIV
I was sent this video yesterday by a friend of two girls who can bend and flex and fit into one small box. If you get this in your e-mail the videos don't always come through. Just click the blue post name to be taken back to A Devotional Mosaic where you can see the video.
The flexable sisters are Arevik and Tatevik Seyranyan I found another video of them when they were very young children.
"Muscle flexibility can be acquired with persistent training, as long as the shape of the bones in the joint do not limit the range of motion. There are a relatively small number of professional performers who claim they were not unusually flexible before undergoing years of intense training. Those who have naturally flexible joints, however, start out with an advantage, both in knowing that they have an aptitude for contortion and the amount of flexibility they can eventually achieve." Info on contortion found at http://www.rtbot.net/contortion
I found another video of the training that these flexible kid go through. These girls in a box make it look pretty easy but you see the tears, frustration and training that goes into being able to bend and move in such a way. It makes you realize that we are often far more capable than we believe.
Just in case you need a contortion work out routine to practice with I found you one more video. Its a nine minute that I know you will enjoy.................. watching.
So where am I going with this post. My reply to my friend who sent me the first video was that they just needed to get a bigger box. I was hoping to find a bio or something about these girls but there was none that I could find. I find myself wondering how many hours a day one must work out to develop and maintain such flexibility. Stuff like this just causes my brian to think of so many questions. In the end I have to come back to the wonder of God to create us from dust with the potential to do so many things. For some people their whole life becomes a restrictive box. We can get stuck in boxes of isolation, fear, shame, depression, addiction. We can spend much of our lives feeling like we are missing something or are some how not enough. We never even try to pursue our dreams because we don't think we really can. We see the walls we will have to take down or scale. The time and training it will require. I thought it was interesting when I was going through training to be a life coach that the instructor said "Your competition is not other coaches, your competition is the couch" Most folks are happy to sit and live vicariously through the stuff that is beamed through the box. Think of the extra time you would have if you just turned it of and lived your own life rather than watching endless hours of someone else living.
There are things that God may have for us to accomplish but it will require a measure of work, faithfulness and commitment on our part. I know when I started taking piano lessons. I thought maybe God will just zap me and I would be playing and leading worship and doing amazing things in no time. Its now 4 years later and I still have to work for months to accomplish playing much of anything. My teacher reminds us that often the people who play professionally practice 5 or more hours a day to stay on top of the music. One such person said that if he missed a day he could tell if he missed much more others could tell.
I think all too often we have developed a "floating down the lazy river" approach to our walk with God. While I think you can find ways to use the natural motion of things to help propel you towards your desired destination, I think there are times when we must rest the pressure of peers and of society to do what is right and just. Some of the things that God is calling you to work on may be very difficult, it may require long hours of training, and practice. Sometimes he is putting us through training with out us even realizing its happening. We've forgotten all about that prayer we prayed asking God to transform and change us. We look around and we stomp our feet and whine "why do those people seem to not have the troubles and challenges that I have". Its possible that they did not ask for the same things we have. Gold and silver are refined by fire. Some of us have asked God to refine and purify us. We thought it would be an easy God will just zap me kind of transformation.
I've come to find that most transformations happen over time and are the result of pressure, and struggle, persistance to keep going even when it becomes difficult, time consuming and no longer fun. Jesus, "who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame" What was that joy? You and me being able to once again be in right relationship with God. Jesus who we follow laid down his life as a sacrifice for us. I look at those girls in a box and I think how much they must have had to practice and cooperate to be able to fit together in that little box. I look at our big boxes like our churches or our homes and often with all the space in the world we can fit together in same box. We are selfish, territorial, greedy, self serving. We have a lot of the old dead ways still at work in our lives. It takes discipline and commitment to stick with a marriage that is difficult. It takes sacrifice to put the needs of someone else before our own. Yet that is the kind of God we serve. One who does not give up on us thought we fail him countless times. A God who was willing to endure suffering, to leave his place of glory to come and fit with us in our boxes.
Dear Lord, you know the limiting boxes we find our selves in. You know there are things that we need to overcome. To overcome we will need to be willing to face some hardship. To endure long hours of training, to sacrifice some good things to reach this new thing you have given us to do.
Help us to remember what it was we asked you for and to remember the joy that was set before us and to not give up but to press on to overcome. Lord, I want to change, help me submit to your training and plan for transforming my life for your glory.