Where I'm At
A miracle of epic proportions has occurred in that I have joined a gym. This is a miracle for many reasons, not the least of which being that at a gym, other people can see you, and I joined anyway. The process of joining was particularly encouraging because a very blonde, very perky gym receptionist was assisting me and towards the end of our time together she put her hand to heart and with all sincerity uttered the following words:
“Ma’am. Just, ma’am. I think it’s so incredibly commendable that you are following the example of your daughter and caring for your health in this fashion.”
The “daughter” she was referring to is my sister. My sister who is two years younger than me. I pointed this out to her. Not at all embarrassed by her glaringly false assumption she laughed and choked out an excessively cheerful:
“Aaaakward!” as she flipped her blonde ponytail with abandon.
Standing in the bathroom, staring into the mirror, attempting to ascertain exactly how much of my grey was showing (I found my first grey hair at the age of nineteen. Thankfully it is an extremely slow process, but my hair – like my personality – is a little salty these days.) I just had to smile at myself and say:
“Well. This is where I’m at.”
Comparing yourself to others is almost impossible to avoid at the gym. When the man whose muscles have muscles hopped onto the treadmill next to me and began to sprint at a pace of six miles an hour I had little choice but to continue my crawling pace next to him, slowly dying. (I don’t mean that I was dying of embarrassment, I was too engaged in the physical process of actually dying to be embarrassed.) He looked over at me and smiled (when he tripped over his own two feet #vindicated #thanksJesus #butcompassion) and I smiled back. No, I’m not running six miles an hour. (The very thought makes me nauseous.) It’s hard for me to keep up with half that pace. This is just where I’m at.
It’s so easy to compare ourselves to others, not only at the gym, but in life. We have this “hills and valleys” mentality. When everything is going well, then we are blessed, and we’re on the mountaintop. The alternative is hanging out in the not so blessed, rather unfortunate, worst-case-scenario valley. You know how the Bible says that we are like sheep and the Lord is our Good Shepherd? Well, I was studying a little about sheep the other day when I happened upon some knowledge. It turns out that water flows downhill. (I know. Going to the gym has made me a genius.) Therefore, the reason shepherds take their sheep into the valley is because that is often where things are lush and growing, that’s where the still water is found. However, shepherds have careful and instinctive practices when it comes to timing because when the rains are descending, water flows downhill, (Again. Genius.) so the valley is no longer safe. It is during these times that a shepherd herds his flock uphill, because during those seasons, that is where things are more likely to be lush and growing and there the still waters are found.
It’s easy to think if you’re a smart sheep, you'll earn mountain status. Or if you’re a cute, perky, gym receptionist sheep, you get to be on the mountain. Or if you’re the sheep whose muscles have muscles you can hang out on the mountain. Such is not the case. The location has nothing to do with the success of the sheep and everything to do with their safety.
Where I am at, is best for me. The Good Shepherd knows the exact and perfect timing necessary for my own personal growth and development. Wherever He has placed me, He has done so because He knows I will rest by still waters, and my soul will be restored. I just want to be where He wants me to be. I just want to be near that water.
I’d expound more on the topic but I don’t have time. I’m off to the gym with my daughter.
It’s just where I’m at right now.
“Know yet that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” - Psalm 100:3