Sunday, February 16, 2014

Spinning a little too fast

It starts with just balancing on a level surface, getting one's bearings in an unnatural place.  And then, taking just a single step outside one's comfort zone.

Those baby steps are followed always by some kind of fall, not in defeat, but in learning how to navigate in unfamiliar places.  It progresses to sliding forward and then --"look Mom, I can go backwards too!"  A little hop, a partial spin, all over the course of years of training.  Those are the parts that we do not see, the long obedience, the repeated falls, the getting back up and trying again. And again.  And again.  Tired, hungry, sore, and going home in sweatpants and a hoodie to homework yet undone.

But what we do see in prime time every four years are the Olympic skaters as they jump, dance and spin their way to medals, sometimes rotating so fast that the skater disappears into a blurry image. Each one adds another level of difficulty, approaching what appears to be impossible.  That is why we enjoy watching them, doing what we cannot imagine.

How do they master the spins? How do they come through without dizziness?
Practice.  Practice.  Practice.
Training every day.

And as I have learned, they are no different than any of us, but the twirling skater maintains his equilibrium coming out of the spin only by focusing his sight on a fixed spot.  When he sets his vision, the dizziness cannot prevail.  It has nothing to hold onto.

The past few days, I have struggled with writing this blog.  The words have not come.  I have worked on my writing, but right now, everything going on around me is spinning a little too fast.  I sit down to my desk to write and my brain is doing a quadruple lutz, spinning and leaping at the same time, and trying to figure out how to land upright.

Sometimes for reasons we do not know, sometimes for reasons too many to count, our worlds spin, not part of a dance on ice, but traversing the slippery places in life, outside our control.

And how do we train for this,
           even for what we don't see coming?
Practice trust,
     not in our own abilities
         or despite our own disabilities,
but trusting God
            one step,
            one hop,
            one spin at a time,
               even on the ordinary days,
learning to focus on that fixed spot
                and that would be God.

He will not just bring you through it,
      but will bring through it something new.

Keep my eyes on You, O LORD.
Set my vision on Your purposes.
My situation may not change,
   the level of difficulty may even get harder,
        but God empowers me
  not just to see the things around me differently,
               but to see Him
                         and Him alone.

You keep him in perfect peace
          whose mind is stayed on You,
    because he trusts in You.
Trust in the LORD for ever,
    for the LORD GOD
            is an everlasting rock.

                              Isaiah 26. 3-4


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