I was going for the save! The volleyball was descending toward the sideline and it looked like it was just barely going to stay in bounds. I had to go for it. So, I planted my left foot, dug deep into the sand with my right and stretched as far I could. As soon as I pushed off my completely-buried right foot, a sharp-burning pain struck my right calf. I thought it was just a really bad cramp, so I tried stretching out. The following 20-30 minutes I spent sitting on the sidelines trying not to pass out.
A week later, I found out that I tore my calf in two places and I spent three weeks after that keeping it elevated, iced and doing a whole lot of nothing but rest. A strange thing happened as I rested. As I was forced to be alone, the Lord began to speak to me in two very specific ways: a praise and a petition.
The petition for Him that He revealed was that my discipline, in general, was extremely lacking. My quiet time had dwindled; Scripture memorization was non-existent; diet and workout had slowed to a crawl; my lust had heightened; my financial giving was reduced; and my desire for “me time” was my daily task. If you’re familiar with my testimony, you’d understand the gravity of these tragedies. A little more than two years ago, God glorified Himself in my life and crafted a wonderful re-birth of my entire being. I wrote a blog about it, titled “Looking over my shoulder,” that everyone should read and see the faithfulness of God and the glory of His grace. So, how could this be? I believe it boils down to two reasons.
The first reason: after experiencing God in a new way, I forgot that I’m not in heaven yet. The presence of Christ is such a glorious and purposeful thing, it is easy to push aside anything that’s not Him. Not easy in the sense that it is effortless, but that the comfort of His glory is the only place you want to be.
That sense of warmth and comfort became confidence, and much like Paul describes in Rom. 7:11 (“For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me.”), my sin gave me the confidence that I didn’t need to do anything else. That righteous redemption on this earth would lead to discipline on its own without prayer, without Scripture, without time management, without the battle over sin. Which it would, if I were in a place without sin: heaven.
The second reason for my lack of discipline is the obsession with something better. I’ve obsessed over a career in filmmaking. I’ve obsessed over a meaningful relationship. I’ve obsessed over a restful state of mind. All are designed to be ways to glorify God, when pursued and not obsessed.
Discipline is my petition. My praise is quite simple but very profound. I praise God for the ability to move. To be able to stand up, sit up, walk across the room, stand in the shower, to cook in the kitchen, to go to the grocery store, to kneel in prayer, to help people move to a new home, to workout at the gym. I didn’t realize my physical dependence on movement and all the emotions that tie to it. There’s something emotionally indescribable about the value in movement. The freedom to get up and go somewhere, anywhere, is uplifting. Having to sit and not move has given me a greater understanding of anyone that is physically disabled.
It seems like our whole lives are built up of prayers and petitions. I am grateful to the Lord for continuing to heal my leg and to open my eyes to the desires of my heart in the process.