I learned an invaluable lesson in the gym the other day when I was bench-pressing. As usual, I was lifting a lot of weight. But thanks to my trainer Goss, I realize the benefit of weight-training for women and know that increasing muscle mass is the best way to get in tip-top shape. To many people’s surprise, I can bench press as much as the average man. I was blessed to be trained by Goss because he never limited my training simply because I am a woman. He believes in the infinite possibility of what we can all do — regardless of our sex. He sees the pure potential of what the universe promises us, even when we cannot see it for ourselves. He teaches that there is something more powerful in us than what we see in the flesh(see www.Goss_the_Steel.com).
I was training with Nadine, my training partner, and we were having fun as usual, minding our own business. Everything was just fine until a man training nearby began to question the amount of weight that we were lifting.
He had just watched me bench-press nearly 200 lbs and had obviously observed more than he could tolerate. So our beloved on-looker left his own work-out and began lecturing me about why Nadine should not attempt to lift the weight that I had selected for her. He adamantly told me that she was not prepared to lift the weight yet because she actually needed help lifting the bar. Fortunately, Nadine spoke up for herself, and refused to lift anything lighter. She looked at me, and said, “I am ready.” In hindsight, I realize what a powerful affirmation that is: “I am ready.” I am ready to move beyond where I am. I am ready to transcend the here and now and push beyond my comfort zone. I am ready to lift what I have never lifted before. I may appear to be small to you or even insignificant. I may appear to be weak to you — or at least as not strong as you are. I may appear to be unworthy or less qualified, but God has prepared me for what I need to do.
I am ready, even if I need help because through all things, God is working together for my greatest good. I know what I’m doing. I know I’m prepared for this. I know that the universe has brought me to this point with everything that I need — the bone, the muscle, the stamina, the energy, the strength — but most importantly the faith that I can succeed.
This reminds me of the Israelites who were at the edge of the wilderness, when Moses blessed them for their journey into the promised land. They were not just standing on the bank of a river to cross. They were on the threshold of a new consciousness. They were not leaving the wilderness because they had traveled a certain distance, or mapped out a particular strategy, or had served a certain amount of time. They were crossing over because they were ready.
The promised land, you see, is not a physical place. It is a place in consciousness that gives us spiritual food that feeds our mind, soul and heart the unlimited feast of the Kingdom of God. It is a place where we are no longer captive to the wilderness of our own negativity and grumbling and strife. It is a place where the materialism of the Egyptians no longer enslaves us. It is a place where the disenfranchisement of the Israelites no longer burdens us. It is a place where the giants of Og no longer scare us. But we cannot get there unless we are ready.
The number forty in the Bible symbolizes preparation rather than a specific number. Forty years in the wilderness means as long as it takes to get ready. We are ready when we realize that Spirit is always working together for our greatest good. Spirit will always feed us enough manna, spiritual food, to sustain us. We are ready when we stop worrying about what other people say or think. As Terrie Cole Whitaker says, What You Think About Me is None of My Business. We are ready when we are willing to make the sacrifices that need to be made to accomplish what we want. We are ready when we learn to seek first the Kingdom of God, and realize that the Kingdom is within.
We are ready when we can bless even the appearances of life — whether they are bad or good — because we realize that they are the motivation that we need. We are ready when we understand that love is the spiritual law that supersedes all others. Love does not judge but is unconditional. Love has an all-encompassing heart that fulfills the law with grace. We can accomplish anything with the power of love. If you are worried or doubtful or in need, all you have to do is bless the situation with the power of love. Love allows us to be compassionate about everyone, even when they second-guess us, because we know that they are part of our blessing. They serve as the catalyst that pushes us beyond our comfort zones. They make us aim higher than we ever aimed before.
When Nadine and I were training, I really do not believe that she would have done as good a job, but for the man’s doubt. After he voiced his disapproval, she was fired up. She was ready to prove him wrong. She had never bench-pressed two 45 lb plates before, but I have no doubt she’ll be doing it from now on. She did a spectacular job. I followed. Inspired by her, as well as the man’s protest, the weight never felt lighter.
We cross over to the other side when we know that we are blessed with the anointing of God. We never know how we are going to make it there. But we can trust that God will put the right people on our path to push against our resistance and pull us across the threshold to something greater.
Yes, I am ready for the promised land. I have spent enough time in the wilderness. I am ready to do what God has called me to do. I am ready to walk in the newness of life, and nothing and no one can stop me.
Reverend Cecilia Loving
Pastor, SPIRITMUV (www.spiritmuv.com ) (All of the materials in SPIRITMUV email messages are copyrighted by and may not be used without the written permission of Cecilia Loving. )