A high school track coach used to introduce warm-up drills with the expression “getting the rust off.” That phrase comes to mind often when I feel rotten for the first few miles of a run. My gait seems to be off, there is tension in my shoulders, and my legs feel rubbery. I rarely figure out why I feel a certain way but just plod along. After 30 minutes or so, those symptoms subside and the body seems to sync up and the rust falls. It is a wonderful feeling to fall into a groove.
The nebulous journey of the spiritual life can be frustrating at times. There are many factors at play and diagnosing “issues” can be similar to searching on WebMD for the cause of headaches; it can be ANYTHING! For me, figuring out the cause of a problem can be like trying to taste my own tongue…impossible. So I use the reverse Jenga approach – taking out and replacing things in my life – in order to regain spiritual stability. Am I getting enough sleep, exercise, and proper nutrition? Can I mix up my prayer style or spiritual reading? In my prayer, am I talking too much or asking too much? Can I simply contemplate God’s grandeur and listen? Typically less focus on me and more focus on others help shake the rust off. Charity work and simple selfless acts never fail to ground me. Eventually, after some mixing things up, the groove returns and I feel “synced” with God.