Keeping my balance. . .

bike coastI’ve been seeing a physical therapist for three months now. It seems that I’d managed to injure a hamstring tendon badly enough that normal TLC wasn’t enough to bring healing. After years of on-again, off-again pain, I sought professional help.

It seems, after testing, that I have managed to develop some pretty serious muscle imbalances. Though the deficiency didn’t show in my every day activities, when stressed, my right hamstring cried out in pain. For me, the big stressors are climbing a hill on my bike, running and — believe it or not — sitting as I play my cello. It all made my “sit-bone” scream! (that’s ischial tuberosity for you medical folks)

One of my muscle weaknesses has to do with my core strength, my ability to hold my trunk and pelvis still while my legs work to climb or run or hold the cello. It shows up especially in my balance activities, standing on one foot, stepping over obstacles, etc. It turns out that if you can’t maintain your balance, you won’t be able to do the activities that demand strength and flexibility of your limbs. In other words, the productivity of your arms and legs depends on the stillness of the torso.

That small truth echoes a spiritual truth, one I’ve been wrestling with ever since I started writing for publication,.

You see, in the world of publishing, self promotion is highly valued. Publishers want to see writers have a platform, a marketing plan, a series of “endorsements” from highly reputable, respectable and visible people. An endorsement from my pastor has no real value, because he isn’t well known, hasn’t sold millions of books, and doesn’t have a highly visible speaking ministry. As for myself, I haven’t created a foundation. I have no ministry named after me. I speak less frequently, to smaller audiences.

So why the struggle?

It seems to me that self-promotion is exactly the opposite of Godly character. Not long ago, I found this verse in 2 Corinthians 10:18. I think it might become my life verse (If I can manage to memorize it correctly). See what you think: “For it is not he who commends himself that is approved., but he whom the Lord commends.”

It seems to me that in the world of shameless self-promotion this truth is a core strength, one that holds your spirit still while your body seeks to work  to obey the Lord. This truth keeps my ego in check. It stills my jealous heart. It quiets my desire to evaluate my life based on book sales or speaking engagements. It reminds my soul that book reviews don’t count; daddy reviews are everything.

When my soul is quiet, when I am free from the slavery of approval, only then can I listen to the voice of the Master. Then, in the stillness and strength of his value, I can do anything, even the smallest, unobserved, unappreciated thing that gives my Daddy great pleasure.

How about you? What spiritual muscles keep you still enough to be strong in Christ?


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6 Responses to “Keeping my balance. . .”

  1. Duane J. YOUNG Says:

    I could hear spiritual principles running (or should I saying walking) through your thoughts as I read your blog. Very nice. “Function in your own anointing.” That is what I say. When you are willing to do that then the Lord can use you to minister to others. What you have to share with them is the wisdom and compassion God has imparted to you through the many hours of soul searching as you have written your books. That ‘anointing’ is what the Lord and Holy Spirit is wanting to use. It is not about searching for your audience. It is about your audience finding you — be it one or many.

    • Bette Nordberg Says:

      Such wise advice DJ; unfortunately, it isn’t really what the industry advises, or what the publishers insist upon. So, how do you quiet the clamoring (or do you not even hear it?) of the world? Or worse, how do you quiet the greed and pride of your own sin nature in order to trust that God will indeed bring the audience if you are both wise and faithful?

  2. Duane J. YOUNG Says:

    It’s this the dilemma? It isn’t that I have such low expectations of God’s desire to use me. If Jesus would have died for one, can’t I be satisfied ministering to one? Who says I need a crowd?

    I find that as I mentor each dad (22 last year) I grow in my understanding and wisdom. I walk with them, listening to the Holy Spirit, teaching me Biblical wisdom that allows me to help each of them get unstuck from the miry clay, climb up the ladder out of the pit of sin they have allowed themselves to live in and help them learn to live a righteous life as a man of God.

    Personally, I can’t do that in a crowd.

    There are moments when I think that I really have something that I could share with ‘the Body of Christ’ regarding mentoring Dads, but why would I want to try and open an door the Lord hasn’t given me the key to open.

    If one repentant sinner can cause heaven to break out in celebration, why would I deny myself (and heaven) the joy of working with that one sinner?

    I have to ask myself ‘What am I really wanting?” Is it fame, (an audience that loves me), fortune (a best seller)?

    The other question is ‘What am I lacking in my life?’ The answer is, ‘Nothing that fame and fortune would add to it.”

    (Now stepping down from my soap box.)

  3. Bette Nordberg Says:

    Duane, though I read this comment long ago, somehow, I didn’t “approve” it. I apologize. Again, so many wise words and ideas. This is an area of weakness for me. I admit that I must struggle to keep that prideful part of who I am starved of attention and sustenance. Perhaps THAT itself is the reason that the Lord has chosen a smaller place for me. He loves me toooooooo much to let me fall to my own weakness!

  4. Terri fisher Says:

    Bette. I just started reading your blog. This hit me like a ton of bricks. I have the struggles in my job am I good enough self doubts. I’m write the verse down and saying your words over to myself. Take care. Terri

    • Bette Nordberg Says:

      Wow Teri, Your note blesses me more than you’ll ever know. My biggest motivation in life is to influence others toward a deeper life in Jesus. What a joy to know that some little thing I’ve written has moved, schooched, pushed, inched you toward deeper faith. . . Thank you for letting me know!

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