I have been working out with the New York City Ballet. I know, right? What a thrill! It’s been about a year now. I put the DVD in every morning.
I have never liked to exercise—it’s too much work. But I passed a milestone birthday, and I wanted to maintain my good health. I popped in my daughter’s ballet DVD. From the start, I could pretty much do all the exercises. All except the crunches, the pushups, and the port-a-bras (holding my arms out forever), I kept up pretty well. And it was relaxed. The trainer didn’t yell at me to keep going. I just hit a milestone birthday and I don’t like to be yelled at.
So, long about month six (I know! I’ve never stuck with any exercise this long…) Long about month six, I realized something amazing. I could actually feel my muscles! I walked around the house throughout the day feeling the muscles in my legs. A huge breakthrough! I also used my abs for a crunch instead of straining my neck. This was all very big news! I realized that I could hold my port-a-bras almost as long as the dancers, instead of dropping my arms after thirty seconds. Wow, wow, wow! This had become my personal respite, to enjoy with the Lord as we worked out together.
For the first time in my life, I looked forward to exercise. On those days that I really didn’t have time for it, rather than being relieved (“Oh darn, I can’t work out”), I truly was disappointed (Oh darn, I can’t work out!). I had fallen in love with my personal workout time.
Then something sweet blossomed inside me. I realized that this is how time with Jesus is meant to be. Challenging, but not overwhelming. Encouraging, as no one yells that I’m doing a pitiful job. Gentle, as the beautiful dancers flow, and I follow. Deceptively simple, as the straightforward moves require time to master.
I remember when I first learned about selfishness. The idea was simple enough, and I thought I wasn’t too far off. Then Jesus dropped the bottom out and I realized I was extremely selfish. Jesus does not yell at me, nor is He is not disappointed in me. He is simply with me. The longer I walk, the more dependent on Him I become.
I may eventually outgrow this ballet workout, but I will not outgrow my need for dependence on Christ.
Next time, I’ll post another excerpt from my upcoming marriage book. 🙂