Our aquafit instructor asked us to do a cross-country ski movement with our arms and legs. The added twist was we had to do this without letting our feet touch the bottom of the pool.
She said, “The resistance will be felt in your whole body, from the neck down.” While completing the exercise I thought, “My resistance is normally felt from the neck up!”
I know I’m not the only one who has experienced this. My mindset controls what I am capable of achieving.
Years ago I clipped a cartoon out of the paper and had it displayed on my fridge. One character said, “I’ve realized that I’m the only one keeping me from reaching my full potential.” The other replied, “And a mighty fine job you’re doing of it.”
This served as a powerful reminder to get out of my own way. Too often the resistance I face doesn’t come from outside sources but from myself.
I read an excerpt from the book, Trade Your Cares for Calm by Max Lucado that addressed this very well. He said the widest river in the world is not the Amazon or the Nile. It is a body of water called ‘If Only’. He talked about the number of people who stand on its banks wanting to cross but never doing it. They are convinced the ‘If Only’ river is what separates them from the good life.
We all have a choice to make. Are we going to let the resistance in our minds stop us or are we going to cross the ‘If Only’ river?
“The good life begins, not when circumstances change, but when our attitude toward them does.” Max Lucado
One evening I pulled into our driveway and was surprised when my vehicle would no longer move forward. Before you ask, it wasn’t because I bumped into the building!
Eventually the vehicle did move but there was a resistance that felt like something was holding it back. The brake wasn’t engaged so the problem had to be with the transmission. Once it was serviced, everything was good again.
This made me think of times I’ve been moving full speed ahead in my life and suddenly felt a resistance that stopped me in my tracks. Looking back, I realize this was caused by a different kind of transmission problem. It had nothing to do with a motor, but with a message that was being transmitted to me.
Many times I have set my own course and not stopped to pray about it. God has been patient with me when I made mistakes that wouldn’t have occurred if I had been relying on him. When it feels like something is holding me back, I need to stop and evaluate if this is God’s way of letting me know I’m not heading in the right direction.
He is always willing to forgive my disobedience and set my life back on track. By being tuned into his transmission of love and guidance my journey of life will be much smoother.
Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty! (Psalm 32:1-2 NLT)
The regular aquasize instructor was on vacation and the one filling in introduced a few new exercises to the class. At one point she was talking about using the resistance of the water to get better results from the workout. When she said, “Resistance changes your shape,” my mind went in a completely different direction.
Over the years I have learned that when I resist things that are good for me, my shape does change. If I resist the apple and have a couple of chocolate chip cookies instead, it’s my physical shape that changes.
Overall, I believe that it’s my emotional well being that has suffered the most due to my resistance. When I refused to accept something new or different, I got ‘bent out of shape’. Certain that my way was right; I was not willing to consider other options. My stubborn attitude didn’t make me pleasant to be around. This resistance caused me to miss out on new experiences.
Looking back, I can see that my resistance has often come from a fear of the unknown. Once I learned to put my trust in Jesus, the fear and the resistance lessened. When I relaxed enough to trust him with the outcome, my life has been far more fulfilling. He has proven over and over to me that when I pray and rely on him, he can accomplish so much more than I ever could on my own. My shape has been changed, not by my resistance, but by the loving guidance of Jesus in my life.
I have commanded you, “Be strong and courageous! Don’t tremble or be terrified, because the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 GWT