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Spiritual Training Cycle: Unity (wk. 2/13)

In September of 2010, I had a serious bike accident. In my LBC (Life Before CrossFit), I too was a die-hard endurance athlete. After a few years in the world of triathlons, I switched my focus to road cycling, and in the Fall of 2010, I flipped my bike going just over 26 miles per hour. One quick evaluation by the EMT sent me to the ER, where the doctor determined I suffered a grade three A/C joint separation in my left shoulder. Sling in place and pain meds on board, I sat in the passenger seat of my buddy’s car pondering just how fragile life is. I still have my cracked helmet which I show the kids every so often. After a few more consultations and evaluations, I began the long slow road to recovery. I started the process of restoration.

Restoration is defined as, “a return of something to a former, original, normal condition.” And that was my goal – to get back to normal. I’ll never forget my first physical therapy appointment. If you’ve had a shoulder injury, you’ll relate to this. My doctor had me do what are known as “spider walks.” You simply stand next to a wall, place your fingers on the wall at about hip height, and “walk” them as far up the wall as pain and mobility will allow. I maybe went three inches before I let out a shout in pain. Three inches. Devastating. My doctor said four words, “It’s a starting point.” I thought to myself, “Well, it isn’t a very good one!” But that’s what I had to work with, so that’s what I worked with. Restoration doesn’t feel significant when the process begins. But it’s not about the beginning, it’s about the ending. The end of restoration is where a new opportunity emerges – transformation. Restoration prepares you for transformation.

Restoration prepares you for transformation.

The same is true in our spiritual lives. Like my bike accident left me with a physical injury, we are all born with a spiritual injury, which is separation from God. Unlike my rehab program, there is nothing we can do to heal this injury on our own. No amount of being good or doing good or giving a lot of money away can resolve it. But the great news is that Jesus restores what we cannot. Jesus restores our connection to God! Do you know what that means? Freedom! Think about how limited my range of motion was from my shoulder injury. When I could finally move again, all I wanted to do was get out there and experience motion. When your connection to God is restored, you are finally free to live a fully new life. A new kind of peace. A new kind of joy. A new level of durability to handle whatever life throws your way. Jesus is offering you a life of transformation. A life that starts with restoration.

Questions for Reflection:

Where have you seen spiritual restoration in your life?

What are you still hoping God will transform?

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