I’m going to tell you a little bit about today.
First, I had a lovely sleep-in. Like till 11 AM. Many of you will be so proud of me that I got up at that time, since fairly recently my sleeping problems involved a 4 AM bedtime and a 2 PM rising. But yes, I went to bed at a decent hour and woke up at an (almost) ok hour. I pulled out the Word and made sure I spent time in that before I even got up. (Lest you be in awe of my personal spiritual level, I must confess I do not always do that before anything else on most days. I am, however, trying to make it a strong priority.)
I grabbed lunch in the kitchen from work and spent some time online. Yes, I am getting sucked back more and more into the online world, which I enjoy. I like connecting with people and expressing myself online. So I spent a while on my laptop, walking off to do random things throughout the hours or answering the phone. Then I spent some time taking care of things at the Home that needed to be done. Somewhere in there, I managed to disappoint several people, mostly from something I was not able to do and then something else I did not remember to do. Confession: I hate disappointing people. When I think someone is upset with me, it gets me down. I most likely read too much into things, but I start imagining how I have disappointed them and what they must now think of me. Three of these incidents happened right in a row, and I must admit I fought off tears on the last one. So I did what any sensible person would: I ate a large bowl of Lucky Charms and decided I needed a nap.
Well, I’m not sure I really took much of a nap. Someone called, and my mind didn’t seem to turn off. Anyway, soon it came time for the beginners’ class at the Tae Kwon Do center. I’m only an orange belt (third belt up), so that qualifies me. The fact that I’m just getting back in to it after a year extra-qualifies me. I was tired and honestly a little depressed, which meant I didn’t really feel like going. But I knew that I really wanted to, and I needed to because it would help my mood and I’m aiming at 3x a week to get back into things. So I went. We started minutes after I got there (mostly because I arrived minutes before class, not because they were waiting for me to start–in case there was any confusion). During the stretching, I focused on trying to dispel my darker mood. I’ve often heard and seen how thankfulness can break through spiritual/emotional/mental barriers when you’re struggling, so I started thanking God as we stretched, anything I could think of. Thank you that I have muscles. Thank you \for skin that holds all those muscles in place. Thank you that I can do Tae Kwon Do. Soon the workout picked up till I was mostly focused on yelling and kicking (with some punches and forms put in). Somewhere half way into the workout, in the 10-second rests we had before going back down the mats yelling and kicking again, I started realizing I was feeling more than just winded. My head was buzzing, my eyes were getting black dots in front of them, I started feeling nauseous. Being brilliant (or, rather, just acquainted with these symptoms), I knew I was over-doing it a bit and getting close to passing out. Being brilliant (or, rather, silly or stubborn), I kept going. The second 10-second break felt the same. The third break I seriously knew I might pass out. I began trying to figure out how to inform the instructor. There are rules and certain kinds of etiquette in TKD, especially in addressing your instructor, so I was at a loss for the proper way to say “I’m about to faint.” But at some point, without real conscious thought, I think I decided to go until I actually fell over. Fortunately, my instructor noticed at the fourth break the complete lack of color in my face (which is normally bright red in workouts) and asked how I was feeling. I think I said something about feeling sick, but the end result was she had me sit out the last 10 min of class. I ended by bowing out with the others, and then I left.
So I made it. I went. I didn’t give up or quit. I’m not sure if I should have pushed not-so-hard or if I had simply not eaten enough that day. Either way, I made it through the class, my fourth one since I started back into TKD. I took that as a victory.
I came home in time for my iPod to teach me a lesson. I had left it playing on shuffle, and I walked back in on a sermon from David McQueen, Beltway Park‘s pastor. It was about extreme faith. It was about half-way through, and the part I walked in on really spoke to me. I’m not completely sure why, since it was not really something on my mind–or maybe it was, and I just didn’t know it. But somehow, the following quote reached out and grabbed me:
If, because of my weakness and immaturity, [I assume] God is all the time mad or sad, what do I do? Do I not make myself scarce?
And I cannot tell you why that made me sit down and cry a little, but it did. Another confession: I have often struggled to understand the goodness of God. I know He is good; I know it with all my heart. But I think there may be some part of me that has not fully grasped it, that struggles to believe it. I could blame it on the years of depression, on the years of difficulties and hardships. But it comes down to something more personal, so I’m still working through that. Two other quotes from that message that were very good for me:
You will not follow God at an extreme level unless deep within you know his heart and how good he is.
It’s amazing how the enemy has convinced us that God is all-powerful but not all-good.
And of course, right after the message, two songs came on that were worshipful and wonderful for me to hear.
So I took a shower, got on my laptop, and wrote this blog. Now I need to go find a late supper.
By the way, along with the lessons God gave me from my iPod, I found this picture and it made me smile very much.