Lessons From a Hamstring

Many of you know I had a biking accident about 6 weeks ago. I had a collision with another rider, and I went down hard. I banged up the entire right side of my body. Everything hurt. The black and blue bruising was impressive!

After about a week or so, the pain was diminishing on that side of the body, but my left leg was still REALLY hurting.  It had been hurting all along, but now that the rest of the body was mending the pain that wasn't going away was CLEARLY a problem.

So I had an x-ray to make sure nothing was broken. Nothing was.

Do heat treatment, lots of Advil--still not getting better. Back to the doctor, and now, off to physical therapy to get the hamstring worked on.

I'm sure you are wondering - where are you going and what's the point?

Here it is. I've had several sessions of physical therapy, working out the contusion, loosening up the knots (NOT technical medical language by the way). I'm sore after every session.

And, after every session, my hamstring is feeling better. But not fully better. It still hurts. I still can't do all I want to do.

Oh yes, every session the therapist gives me exercises to do, to keep the healing process moving. I am to do them three times a day.

Guess what?

I have to be really disciplined to do those exercises, even one time a day. After my last session the therapist asked, How are the exercises going? I had a choice: either lie (just a little fib really) or say I hadn't been doing them.

I chose the high road.

My therapist was not happy with me. They were happy about me taking the high road, but not happy about me taking the lazy route and avoiding the exercises.

It is probably like when your dentist says, "Be sure to floss to avoid gum decay" and you don't floss until the next time you are in the dentist chair and they do it for you. And they say, "How is the flossing going?" and you mumble something vague.

Or after your annual physical checkup, when your doctor gives you a list of changes to implement immediately (which is one reason guys especially don't bother getting annual checkups). Why pay for a doctor visit that is going to end in the doc telling you things you don't want to know and having you make changes you know you won't do?!

Whoever said, "What you don't know won't kill you" was literally and figuratively Dead Wrong!

My physical therapist kindly exhorted me to do the work I need to do in between appointments if I want to get better. I said, "Okay, okay." Meanwhile, I am thinking in my head, Romans 8:1, "There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus who fail to do what their physical therapist tells them to do!"

And then it HIT ME!

That is what so many Christians do. We go to the spiritual therapist (called a pastor). We get some therapy (called a sermon). And then we don't do anything the rest of the week until it is time to go back for another session!

And we wonder, why isn't this sermon making a difference?

Why is my spiritual health not getting better, faster?

Let me borrow a word from my physical therapist.

Do your spiritual exercises every day this week and see you next week!

Yes, go ahead and remind yourself of Romans 8:1. And then, do your devotional exercises. Use the daily devotional on the app or the printed copy.

Exercise spiritually every day, watch your spiritual diet, stay away from junk food (much of what we take in on TV and media), exert your muscles by doing things you normally don't do.

And see you in a week.

On Behalf of the Spiritual Therapist Team,
Pastor Brian Rice

P.S. Oh yes, I still didn't do my hamstring exercises yet!  Sigh...