I was recently talking to a patient. He asked me “What is the key to health?” Without thinking about it – I said, “flexibility.” He asked why? I said b/c the one thing we lose as we age is our flexibility – we quit stretching – we don’t move as much – we sit more – we get tighter – we start shuffling instead of taking good walking strides – we start leaning forward – by now you get the picture. As he left the office, he said he would try stretch more. I hope so!
As I have thought about this conversation for weeks now – this idea keeps coming to my mind: Flexibility matters to the physical body but let’s not forget the spiritual. Physically, the idea of flexibility makes sense. Just lean over right now and try to stretch your hamstrings and you will be reminded. Spiritually, I am not so sure it is quite that easy to be reminded? And what does it mean to be spiritually flexible? Well, let me share a few thoughts I have about it:
Physically flexible people:
1. Stretch – they may not stretch every day but more often than not they do
2. Move – they stay active over-all realizing that movement is life
3. Fuel – they may not eat perfect all the time but understand the role of proper nutrition and hydration
4. Think – they understand the importance of being positive
5. Encourage – they know the importance of physical health and encourage others to be healthy
Spiritually flexible people:
1. Stretch – they often stretch themselves (with their finances, time or other resources) to bless others
2. Move – they are lead to move mountains and they realize what may be a mole hill to one person may be a mountain to another
3. Fuel – they are not perfect but they understand the role of what they watch, read and listen to matter; they understand what they feed their mind affects their spirit
4. Think – they set their minds on things above; they do not compromise truth but realize they do not know everything there is to know
5. Encourage – they know the importance of spiritual health so they purposely engage & encourage others along their journey
I thought about going much more in depth with this topic but honestly it got too long. The point is this: Stay flexible – both physically & spiritually – or you become rigid. And what happens when you become rigid: well, death in a real sense. Physically your muscles become tight & your movement becomes inhibited – spiritually your heart becomes hard and your ability to love becomes inhibited and either one produces pain. As I continue to think how to stay flexible; it takes movement. Physically, your body has to move – there is no other way. Spiritually, your heat has to move or maybe better stated, your heart has to be moved. There is no other way. I think of a verse and a song. The verse: 1 Cor. 13:13 reads, “Faith, hope and love. These three remain but the greatest of these is Love.” The song: “Sigh No More” by Mumford & Sons – a portion reads, ” Love; it will not betray you, Dismay or enslave you, it will set you free, Be more like the man you were made to be, There is a design, an alignment to cry Of my heart to see, The beauty of love as it was made to be.”
Prayer: Oh how I desire to see the beauty of love as it was made to be. How that would cause my heart to be molded and shifted – to be flexible. Let me a person who is not rigid whether in the flesh or spirit. Let not my heart become dull – that is the cry of my heart!