When Not To Stand On Our Hands

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a yoga class that included one of my favorite poses: a handstand. There's something wonderfully childlike and carefree in seeing the world upside down, and I was feeling like a kid that evening. Having done the pose many times, I aligned my hands and shoulders. Then I began walking my feet up the wall for "kick off." As I climbed, something about the pose just didn't "feel right." I put my feet back on the floor, readjusted my alignment, and restarted my climb. I "kicked off," and something still felt odd in my left shoulder. I only held the pose for a few moments before returning my weight from hands back to feet. I felt exhilarated and brushed aside that "odd" feeling I'd had in the moments before kickoff.

Until the next morning.

I woke up the next day with a deep ache in my left shoulder. One of my muscles that had held me upside down was not as happy with the handstand as I had been. I remembered that "odd" feeling before the pose and realized that I had broken two of the primary rules of exercise: (1) Listen to your body, and (2) if you feel any sort of pain or discomfort, come out of the exercise. I knew that I did something wrong, I ignored it, and I felt the pain afterwards, even though the pain did not surface immediately.

Are not sin and its consequences the same? We know that we shouldn't do certain things, yet as human beings we ignore warning signs in God's Word and do them anyway. Then, we have to face the consequences of our failings. The truth is that we are all imperfect and will fail. But the question is: will we learn to listen for God's warnings so as to avoid feeling that pain again in the future? God is quick to forgive, but how much better our lives would be if we listened to the voice of the Holy Spirit that convicts us in times of temptation.

Thankfully, my shoulder is already better and will be fine. But I hope that in the future I'll keep both feet on the ground when the body tells me. And I hope that all of us will keep our feet planted on God's Word so that we can avoid the pain of sin when temptation comes our way. Thanks be to God that grace is abundant no matter how far we fall--or how long we try to stand on our own two hands.

grace to each of you,
Pastor Darian