It’s official! I am obedient. The receipt below show’s my sincere desire to listen to God after six months of blowing him off. I know none of you would ever cover your ears and sing “La La La La, I can’t hear you, I can’t hear you…” and then do exactly what you know in your heart is defiant, but then again, I probably am the only big sinner around these parts.
So, of course it’s over something silly, my stubborn as Balaam’s Ass streak, but it has been a real stumbling block in my faith. Over Christmas, our family splurged and bought memberships to 24 Hour Fitness.
Our goal was to get healthy together and do some mom/dad/kid bonding with dumbbells. But, part of negotiating this deal with my husband included me canceling my membership to LA Fitness, which is close to my office, but nowhere near our home.
I promised hubby I would do it, but then I didn’t. I procrastinated, I put it off, I secretly liked my cushier gym and hoped Tim might forget his request.
But he didn’t forget and constantly questioned me over, and over, and over. And in response, I would quietly change the subject, defer gracefully and try to look sheepishly cute. We both knew I was being a mule and while Tim was kind enough to not force the issue, God on the other hand was not.
Now I have been a gym-rat for the last twenty-five years. Working out is my thing, my big stress reliever and what I consider to be a healthy coping mechanism (alongside copious amounts of prayer, girlfriends and an occasional margarita).
But ironically, since Christmas I have been thwarted in a million ways to find the time or energy to drag my sorry butt through the gymnasium doors. Kolby has been sick, then not sleeping, and church busyness has been overwhelming.
Lunchtime at my office was always my escape. I could sneak away and catch a run or lift weights and come back to the office sweaty, smelly and happy (possibly TMI).
But all of sudden, as lunch approached, a crippling fatigue would permeate my body and I would find writing to be a much easier endeavor. I actually started to run, for about a week, and then I broke my foot.
It was one thing after the next and I was getting sorely peeved by the non-stop obstacles in my path. It would have been easy to write off my lack of motivation to go to the gym as normal laziness, but this time it seemed like God was trying to get my attention.
On Easter Sunday, during cleanup of the worship service, I accidently kicked a large (lifesize) wooden cross while carrying the baby and a chair. I didn’t see it and wham-delerious pain.
A week later, I was chasing the baby in the church sanctuary when the lights were dim and hit the offering box hard, with the same foot. This time, my whole foot swelled up and turned black.
When I went for x-rays, they confirmed my foot was indeed broken, but it was the cross that had been the culprit, the offering box merely did it in.
Clearly, God was speaking. Maybe the donkey didn’t talk, but the pain in my foot communicated a message. I just didn’t know what it was.
One morning, I decided to test my wobbly foot with a stroll and confessed my frustration to the Lord. And the response I got was humbling, to say the least.
Me praying, “Lord, I’m so bummed…(wah, wah, wah).”
God to me, “Sam, have you ever considered that when you defy your husband you defy me?”
And this was the moment of epiphany. Truth illuminated the boulder of pride lodged in my selfish heart and tears streamed down my face as I lifted up my hands and sincerely repented. (Now don’t forget I am out walking in Ladera Ranch with a stroller)
It was one of those shameless moments in life where I simply wanted my heart to be right with God, and could have cared less if people passing by thought I was a nut.
When I arrived home, I immediately got on the horn and called LA Fitness. Ultimately, I had to go to the gym and cancel in person because, as easy as it is to sign up, they make you go through a thousand hoops to cancel.
When I shared the story with hubby he got very excited and laughed in delight. “Doesn’t if feel good to obey your husband?” he asked.
“Sort of,” I replied. ” But, I don’t really think this was between us.”
I thought to myself how hard submission is, even to a wonderful man. It doesn’t come naturally. But the reward is the sweet serenity of walking in obedience to God.
Receipt for Membership Cancellation
Today’s Date: 6/2/2011
Customer #: 1xxx04
Membership Barcode #: xxxxxxx
Member Name: Samantha Adams
Dues: Too much!
Final Billing Date: 5/15/2011
This confirms cancellation of your membership. This membership will expire on 7/14/2011 and includes application of your pre-paid dues at the time of enrollment. The member is entitled to use of the club through that expiration date. If you have a balance due, it will automatically be charged to your account on file with us, on or after your next regular scheduled billing date, pursuant to the authorization you previously provided.
If you have any questions regarding this notice, please call your local club during normal business hours.
Thank you for choosing LA Fitness.