Focus and breathe.

A white plastic chair.

A paddleboard.

A splash.

These were the things of my spiritual growth today. I’m writing now because, well, if I don’t, I won’t. My blogging track record this summer is abysmal, and the only way that will change is by posting asap. So here goes.

There are a few physical activities that I really, truly, enjoy. (I enjoy the endorphin rush from others, but the actual activity? Depends on the day.) Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) is one of those for me. My parents and sister bought paddle boards before I returned to this home, and I’ve spent hours on the water in the last 6 weeks.

Today, I decided to try some stretches on the board. After a few simple poses, I decided to try one involving standing on one foot. Several attempts and perhaps a total of 5 seconds of success, I was suddenly plunging into the warmish water of the lake and reaching for the board- floating away- and my sunglasses- still on my face!

There’s more work to do. I tried several more times with increasing success, and I’m currently sitting by the lake and drying out while I type. There’s still a week of vacation for working on it!

Why is this spiritual development, though?

1. All of life, in my mind, is spiritual. So what I learn on a paddle board has application beyond the water.

2. “Focus” and “breathe” were the directions I needed to find success in my pose today. I needed to focus on something outside of myself to find my balance. The white plastic chair became that focus point for me. When I looked at the board, my paddle, or my feet, I lost my balance. When I tensed up and held my breath, my muscles started to shake the tiniest bit. The tiniest bit of a quiver doesn’t help you balance! When I breathed deeply and relaxed, everything got easier. Not easy, mind you- easier!

3. I need the same lesson on and off the water. Focusing on myself is natural and entirely unhelpful. Tensing up is my m.o. in life…it never bears good fruit.

Implementation of said lessons is forthcoming…and unknown. I’m so thankful for Holy Spirit, Who graciously shows me how to make space for His work and does the heavy lifting.

May the monoblock/white plastic chairs I see in the rest of life remind me of this truth!

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