I recently decided to press myself and try out the cycling machine at the gym. On an interval setting, progress was good, but I must admit that at the highest resistance level in the program I struggled to push through. I hadn't quit, real effort was still happening, but movement was so labored and slow that the machine suddenly flashed at me.
As I continued to press against the resistance, every muscle screaming and my mind racing, trying to adjust and re-adjust my motions so that I could better conquer the resistance, the machine flashed again.
I wanted to scream at it. I'm trying here! I haven't stopped moving! I'm exerting every ounce of strength! Yet again, the machine flashed at me.
I didn't give up. It didn't occur to me to stop. I kept trying. I kept moving. Slow and somewhat steady, but never stopping.
Worst of all I realized that though I was still pedaling through those pause notices, the machine wasn't registering time in those pauses...
My efforts weren't even registering? I wasn't getting credit for them?! My 30 minute program took me 40 minutes. 10 minutes of strain and real and difficult effort, and a bit of agony, were no where on the record!
When you're in a "pause" in life, it can feel like there's no progress. There seems to be no accounting for all the change, work, deconstructing and reconstructing going on in that pause. Does anyone know or understand the real energy and effort or progress that is happening in my transition?
Strides and obstacles overcome, and there's no audience. Momentous milestones achieved, and no one is documenting it, cheering you on or consoling you when it doesn't quite go on as you would have hoped. Transitions can be a lonely, highly interior journey.
And yet, we must acknowledge that the greatest reconstruction and strength building, the greatest improvements and the most important part of the 'working out' is taking place in those pauses.
The quiet moments, the lonely moments, the difficult and most spiritually strenuous moments are where God is truly molding and forming our spiritual muscles. Its where the most significant growth is taking place, and it takes time. Time that none of us can estimate, that can't be measured or calculated until its done.
Thank God for the Pause.
Philippians 3:12-14 don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have
already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which
Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear
brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it,but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting
the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to
reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through
Christ Jesus, is calling us.