I am going to do my best to give you an accurate mental picture of what I am going to write about this morning. I wish wish wish I had an actual picture, because it would be definitely be something you would want to hang on your wall (for occasional comic relief). I’ll do my best with my limited descriptive vocabulary.
When I got out of ICU I couldn’t move on my own. No rolling to one side or sitting up, and walking was virtually impossible. After a few days of recovering, they sent in a physical therapist to help me practice getting my shoes on and attempt a couple laps in the hall. I remember that my only option for working with the therapist was “now”. He only had a small window and even though I was dead asleep (probably from some really lovely sleeping meds) I had to rally and do my “chores.” I was wearing a hospital gown that was open in the back so they had me put on another one that closed in the opposite direction. No free shows! I had on yoga pants underneath said gown(s). Then, I got to practice putting on my running shoes which are practically fluorescent. I managed to do this after several minutes–and even tied them myself! (What a big girl I was!) Then, the best part.
In order to keep me from landing on my face should I start to stumble while trucking down the hall with my walker, they put a seat belt around my upper belly that was cinched and had a long “leash” for the therapist to hold on to. More than likely I had a dew rag on my head to top off this adorable outfit. So imagine how sexy I felt shuffling down the hall wearing not one, but two hospital gowns (one of them backwards), yoga pants, happy colored running shoes and a giant seat belt under my chest. I remember praying , “Oh Lord, PLEASE don’t let my husband come around the corner right now.” (There are just some things you can’t “unsee”–even though I am pretty sure he had already seen such things while I was unconscious and intubated in ICU). I hope my description gives you a hilarious image in your head so that you can conjure it up when you are in need of a good chuckle.
I tell you all that useless and humiliating information to point out one tiny but tremendous truth I learned about in my reading today.
God’s Spirit in us is like that seat belt. He is wrapped tight around us, and when we wander from Him physically or in our mind, He prompts us to return. Just like that therapist had a hold on that belt so that if I started to teeter, he could gently pull me back toward him. I suppose, if I was crashing to the floor, it might be more of a strong yank, but all of it is designed to give me freedom as well as safety.
Author Sarah Young points out that God is saying to us, “Your mind will wander from Me, but the question is how far you allow it to wander. An anchor on a short rope lets a boat drift only slightly before the taut line tugs the boat back toward the center. Similarly, as you drift away from Me, My Spirit within you gives a tug, prompting you to return to Me. As you become increasingly attuned to My Presence, the length of rope on your soul’s Anchor is shortened.”
We want to make sure we keep our selves on a “short leash”. Not so we feel stifled by God, but so we are bound “tight” to Him. When we minimize the slack between us and God, our lives are more apt to be lived out in ways that exude the attributes of God Himself (i.e. love, kindness, tenderness, sweetness, and confidence). Bad things happen when that seat belt has too much slack. You are apt to stumble and fall on your pretty little face before you can be caught.
This is a great visual to remind myself not to wander too far and keep close to the Source (and for me, that means daily reading, reflecting, mediating, serving, and being mindful of the activity of God in my world) lest I have bigger problems than just looking like a goofball scooting down the halls of the oncology floor.