Lift (Lent #14)

snowSomewhere between 15 – 20″ of snow have fallen in the past week where I live.

That’s a lot of snowballs and snow forts and snowmen (people?).

It’s also meant quite a bit of snow shoveling.

Now, it’s winter and one should expect to shovel some snow if you live in a place (like I do) that experiences dramatic weather changes each season.

Still each time it snows a large amount like this, I find myself scheduling my doses of ibuprofen and searching for the heating pad.  Back aches may be par for the course when you find yourself using muscles that only get used this time of year doing this type of activity, but there is some advice to help save you days of moaning and groaning from strained muscles.

“Lift with your legs, not with your back.”

The advice is actually the same whether you are shoveling feet of snow, lifting a child, or picking up that sofa sleeper you swore you’d never move again (but here you are lifting it).

Leg muscles are strong and built for lifting and running and supporting our weight.  Muscles in the back?  Not so much.  Their function is to help keep us upright; to help when we do need to bend or twist or stretch.  They have their role, it’s just not providing the “oomph” for lifting piles of snow.

Different muscles doing different work. All important, just different.

I’m thinking of you (even those I’ve never met).  We are connected you know.  You reading this is one connection, but as people living on this earth at this time in history we are linked together.  My actions have consequences that ripple outward and can affect you wherever you are.  Your actions likewise ripple out and affect me.

It is meant to be this way. (check it out here)

When I am weak; maybe tired, suffering low self-esteem, worn out and generally discouraged, you might lift me.  You might be the “legs” I need to stand, to bear the weight of life, to help me carry on.

At other times, I might be legs for you.

Don’t you love this idea?  Connected in ways that help us support and strengthen one another.

You might offer a kind word at the right time.  You might give some wise counsel.  You might listen.  You might remind me we are not alone in this great big wonderful messy world.  And I might do and be all those things with you as well.

We lift and we are lifted.  What a good thing it is!

Snow will fall in our lives, but we can handle it, right?  Lift with the legs.

 

Life is better together,
Shawn

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