I Didn’t Want to Do It

Yesterday  I dragged myself to the gym for my workout out.  I didn’t want to do it.  I could think of several other activities I would have preferred to do, but I went anyway.  Throughout the entire 40 minute swim, I didn’t want to do it.  Usually I enjoy a quiet God-time as I do laps.  However I couldn’t concentrate  thanks to two chatty women who kept wandering in and out of my swim lane.  Disgusted I gave up and headed for the hot tub.  As I closed my eyes to enjoy the warmth, a woman in the locker room next to the spa began screaming into her cell phone–in Spanish.  As  result I couldn’t even eavesdrop!

it didn’t help that when I went to collect my underwear from my locker, the woman and her belongings occupied the entire area surrounding my locker.  As I showered I could hear the irate woman continue to scream into her phone.   Her angry voice reverberated off the tiled walls.

I was irked!  As I considered shushing her like I might a small child, I asked myself, would I be as upset if she’d been a petite, middle-age blonde with a perky upturned nose instead of the grossly overweight woman she was.  (Now I am substantially overweight as well, but that doesn’t stop me from having prejudices against other persons larger-than-I.)

By the time I completed my wash and rinse cycles, dried off and dressed, the woman had ended her call, but she and her belongings still cluttered the five-foot-long changing bench and floor space.   Swallowing my irritation I smiled and unlocked my locker.  She gave a weak smile and attempted to clear a spot on the bench for me.  “Sorry,”  she muttered.

I shrugged.  “Hey. it’s OK.  Sounds like you’re having a bad day.”   She nodded.  Her eyes filed with tears.  Trying to keep things light between us, I said,  “Mama said there’d be days like this…”

Her lower lip quivered.  She wiped a tear from her cheek.  Suddenly, like a thunder clap on a clear summer afternoon, I knew why I was standing there in my skivvies.  It was no accident.  A flood of remorse swept through me.  Embarrassed, I could almost feel the Holy Spirit nudging me across the narrow space.  “Are you OK?  Is there anything I can do to help?” I asked.

I ignored the woman’s tight little shake of her head, placed my arm around her shoulder and whispered in her ear, “Would you like me to pray with you?” The woman nodded. Despite the presence of the other gym rats who’d been ignoring the distraught woman in much the same way I’d tried to do, I whispered a short prayer.  “Dear Father, I don’t know what the problem is that has my sister so upset, but You do.  And You know the solution as well.  Give her peace and wisdom to deal with whatever comes her way.  Help her to know how much You love her and that You have people willing to help her.”

I’m not proud of the thoughts I’d previously harbored.  I didn’t want to go to the gym; I didn’t want to swim laps; I didn’t want to listen to anyone’s problems that morning.  I just didn’t want to do it, but I’m so glad I did.

Galatian 6:2 NIV “Carry each other’s burdens and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”  For a brief moment in my carefully planned day God positioned me to carry another’s burdens and thus, fulfill His law of love.  Wow! What a privilege!

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2 Responses to I Didn’t Want to Do It

  1. Casey Stilwell says:

    So glad that you listened, prayed! Thanks for being there for that woman!

  2. kay eizzo says:

    It wasn’t any of my doing. As I said, I didn’t want to do it. God had to change my heart completely. And I can be pretty stubborn, I assure you.

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