Today made two things inescapably clear: one, God is indeed involved in the little details of our lives; two, God always gives us what we need.
This is the part where I try to segue gracefully into a personal anecdote that illustrates my point. I’ll skip to the anecdote.
I enjoy working out. Yes, I’m always a bit miserable while I’m sweating away on a treadmill or elliptical trainer, but the feeling that comes afterwards, the feeling of having taken good care of the body God put me in, is very relieving. I feel exercising is part of my responsibility as a human being to take care of myself. Plus, it relieves stress, and we all know how much help I need in that department.
Undisclosed University has a well-equipped fitness center that I’ve used on a regular basis every summer since I was fifteen. The only thing regular about it, however, is the irregularity of its operating hours, especially at the beginning of a school year. Normally when I go during the school year, it’s open from 6 in the morning to 9 at night, or thereabouts.
Today, it was closed. At least, it was closed when I had time to go by.
I had gone back to my room, changed out of class dress into sweats and a tank top, threw on a jacket and ran over to grab a machine as quickly as I could. Someone brought cookie cake to work today.
But the door was locked. There was to be no working out for me today.
So, begrudgingly, I trudged back to my dorm, wondering if I could do enough lunges to justify a full workout. Once I got back to my room, I put on some peppy music and started dropping into the usual routine of stretching and what have you.
Then my roommate walked in.
Normally, working out in your dorm room is considered to be a bit of a faux pas. When my roommate walked in, I assumed then and there that all opportunity for working out was over, and I would just have to settle my flabby self into a chair and surrender to inactivity.
I explained to her my situation (and, by extension, why I was practically upside down and in sweats and a tank top and tennis shoes). She looked at me, her face the expression of delight, and said,
“Oh, good! I was hoping to work out right now, too! Have you ever done pilates?”
Turns out that she was planning on working out in the room, and had been afraid of what I would think of her. Imagine our shared delight when we figured out that we could do the same weird thing and the same time with the same degree of passion and not feel embarrassed about it at all.
No, I had never done pilates until today. I thought it was kind of a wimpy, halfhearted attempt exercise—that the real fitness junkies would do things like heavy cardo or weight lifting. Today I learned that pilates is not at all for the faint of heart, and I will be very, very sore tomorrow.
I sure I could have foregone a day of exercise without any major consequences. It wouldn’t have killed me to do something else instead. But I was stressed and hot and tired and I think that the Lord knew I needed to do something, anything, to get me going and feeling healthy again. So He gave me a roommate with a pilates DVD, which is now sitting on her bookshelf, available for whenever I might need it.
My God is a big God. He spoke the spheres into existence. He speaks, and storms lie still like obedient Labradors. He spins the universe like a top, yet maintains its delicate balance with a thought. But this big, all-powerful God cares about the little things.
It’s a little thing. It’s a little, tiny luxury, the ability to exercise. I wouldn’t die without it. But God cared enough about the little things in my life to make sure I could get in the exercise that I thought I needed.
I stand amazed.