This week I started a new physical therapy session to see if my running injuries can be corrected. In spite of eight months of rest, stretching and joint manipulation, I continued to have nagging muscle pain whenever I tried to run. So after consulting with my doctor, I set up appointments with Fitness Focus in Mahtomedi. There Shannon Maxiner and her team use Muscle Activation Technique (MAT) to address physical rehab. To quote a MAT web site,
MAT looks at muscle tightness as a form of protection in the body. Weak or inhibited muscles can create the need for other muscles to tighten up in order to help stabilize the joints. MAT gets to the root of pain or injury by addressing muscle weakness rather than muscle tightness. This helps to restore normal body alignment, thereby, decreasing pain and reducing the risk of injury. http://www.muscleactivation.com/main.html
I will keep you posted on my progress with this, but the therapy got me thinking about a spiritual form of muscle activation therapy. Is it possible that we develop a spiritual form of muscle imbalance when we over or under commit our time and energy? Do we over commit to congregational, community or work activities and neglect the compensating activity of prayer, reflection and conversation? Or vice versa? Would a lack of spiritual joy, passion and hope be a sign of this imbalance? Could there be a Prayer Activation Technique (PAT)?
One thing I have learned after one day of doing these new muscle activation exercises, they seem trivial and awkward. I need to trust in the therapy and therapist that they will eventually produce results. The same is true with prayer and other spiritual practices; you have to trust that the seeds you are planting in God will bear fruit for God’s kingdom. God is good at taking small seeds and creating something new (Mark 4:30-32).
What small steps have you take to restore spiritual balance in your life?