I went to a new yoga class last week. I have a very comfortable schedule that I stick to most of the time. One thing came up, and then another, but I still wanted to stretch and challenge, as well as rest, my brain and body.
This new class was longer, an hour and a half instead of my usual hour. The teacher was different, it was in another studio, I was completely turned around. But I showed up.
About three minutes in, I knew that I was in a more advanced class than I'm used to. The week before, I was out of town and hadn't taken the time for much physical exercise, this difficult yoga hit my body like a cold glass of water. My breathing was heavy and I powered on through.
There were several times when our instructor told us that if we were tired, we could rest. I am not used to allowing myself to do that. If there are things to be done, I want to finish them. I've written before about my struggles to incorporate a Sabbath into my life. I'm stubborn, I guess, and I want to appear strong and capable, even when I'm in over my head, or when I'm learning.
About halfway through the class, I stopped trying to be good at yoga. I started listening to my (screaming) body, letting myself come out of a pose before everyone else did (heaven forbid!) if I needed to.
I do this in life, too. I work so hard to keep it together, no matter the cost or strain. I struggle against rest like a toddler, having to be talked, or rocked, into it. I find myself often quoting myself this lovely verse from the Psalms: "It is vain for you to rise up early, to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors; for He gives to His beloved even in his sleep." (Ps. 127:2 NASB).
I have this thought that if I can only stir all the pots and keep all the plates spinning, everything will be as it should be. I forget about the awe that I felt when I read this verse for the first time:
"He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together." (Colossians 1:17 NASB)
I'm not holding it all together, not even close. My control over the situation, and my ability to make things go right, are all an illusion. God can certainly handle the situation if I rest for a while.
I walked away from that class very tired, and I woke up sore the next day. But I knew, even as I flexed those tight muscles, that it could have been worse. I could have pushed through the pain and warning signals telling me that I needed rest.
In yoga, and in life, I don't want to push through the whispers of the Spirit calling me to come rest and be refreshed. I don't want to hold so tightly to how things go that I am crushed when they don't work out the way I've planned. The world is the Lord's and He will accomplish what He pleases concerning it, and me, even as I sleep.