See this machine. It's a chin pull-up assist machine.
I just discovered it this morning. It's looks wicked, right?
But it is the total opposite.
Let me slide a little backstory in here.
We have a pull-up bar in our walk-in closet. For years I've seen my husband do chin pull-ups with ease. I've tried it before, but my bingo arms have never had the strength to hoist up my girth. So, I gave up trying long ago.
But then, today at the gym, I noticed this machine. At first I was intimidated. It looked strange and hard.
But I kinda wanted to try it.
But then, I worried I would look stupid in front of the more experienced gym rats.
But I still kinda wanted to try it.
So, I awkwardly climbed on board and tried it. And I did twelve pull-ups. Assisted, yes, but, I did them!
I became excited at the idea that with help I could do what I didn't have strength to do on my own. (Can you see where I'm going with this here?)
After I climbed off the machine I stood back and had to take a picture of it, of this thing that helped me do something really hard. And, my mind turned to the spiritual.
It turned to my Savior.
You see, I'm pretty independent. I feel like I have a lot of capabilities, and I know I have a lot of weaknesses. And I have this stubborn drive to do things on my own. (Maybe there is some pride mixed in there too. . . )
When I do things on my own, I often come across things that are too hard for me, things that are intimidating, maybe even things I shy away from because I don't want to look stupid if I fail (or maybe even succeed.)
So, sometimes I give up on certain things. I stop trying. I feel guilt, regret, shame, insecurity. I feel like I'm weak--not enough. All because there are things that are too heavy for me to lift or do on my own, things I think I should be be able to.
But, we aren't supposed to be able to do all things, lift all things, handle all things on our own. Life is about improving. If there aren't opportunities to improve, grow, and strengthen, then why are we here?
Luckily, we have help in the form of our Savior. As we push and pull ourselves through the joys and sorrows of life, He can be there, lifting us higher, lending us His arm and breath, if we let Him.
He can make our burdens lighter. He can ease our pain. He can lesson our sorrows.
He can also magnify the joy. He can sharpen our vision. He can lead us along the way He knows will make us happy.
He can help us do those good things we want to do but aren't able to on our own. But, we need set our doubts aside and get on board. We need to want it more than we don't want to look stupid to others.
We need to do our part. This machine can't help lift me if I don't pull myself up. It's the same with the Savior. As we pull ourselves up, then His power-the enabling power of grace- can work in our lives. And together, we can do really hard and wonderful things. Things that will make us stronger, happier, and better.
I need to do that more in my life- get on board. I spend too much time worrying and not enough time joyfully pushing and pulling.
So, I leave the gym today with two lessons learned and one large smile on my face, excited for the possibilities, physically and spiritually, that lie ahead, with the right help.