by Larissa Zdon
When I was in my early twenties, my career as a paramedic almost never began. After graduating from paramedic school, I moved away from home for the first time and quickly lost about 20 pounds. When I had been in school, already being a girl of slim stature, lifting the gurney and carrying people was doable, even if not always easy. Once I went under-weight, though, I worried that I would be able to get a job.
I was hired by an ambulance company, but I failed their lifting test. The test was with free weights and was administered by a doctor. The doctor was impressed by how much I was able to lift despite my size and encouraged me to try to gain weight and test again. I was hitting the gym every day and even tried a personal trainer. I got hired by another ambulance company and failed their lift test as well.
In desperation I tried a different gym. There I met a trainer who was a woman who had previously worked in EMS and understood what I was trying to do. She had complete confidence that I could pass my test, but I wasn’t so sure. The first thing she explained to me was that I was working out the wrong muscle groups. It made sense to me to focus my workouts on my arms since those were the muscles doing the work of carrying the gurney. But my trainer told me that I needed to work out my core, because the core has bigger muscles, and the bigger muscle groups support the smaller ones. The larger the muscles in your back, stomach, chest and sides grow, the more your arms are able to do. She was right. After working out my core with her for only a few months, I re-tested and passed easily.
It’s incredible to me to think back that I worked so hard day-in and day-out at the gym and may still have never been successful if someone hadn’t told me to just work on a different muscle group. I kept getting down on myself thinking that if I just worked harder I would succeed.
The same thing happens in our spirits. We struggle with patterns of brokenness and sin and try and try and try to change, but are unsuccessful. The “core” that supports these behaviors are our values and our identity. And the way that we “work out our core” is by spending time with God and hearing God’s truth about us every day. Allowing God to look us in the face even for just a moment to tell us how much we are loved and cared for by Him can change the whole course of our day. Suddenly we are able to forgive quickly, we don’t feel those insatiable desires attached to addictions, and fear and worry are replaced by peace and joy.
Spending just few minutes with God every day saves all the fruitless labor of trying to change by changing us from the inside out.
“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” 2 Cor. 3:18 ESV
Written for Treasures by Larissa Zdon
TWITTER: @HarmonyDust @TreasuresLA