I like to jog, I like soccer, and I like (love) ultimate frisbee. Because I like those sports I've had to learn to stretch. If you don't, you deal with pain, soreness, and injuries. Some of you might not know that I recently had knee surgery where they had to put screws into my femur and drill into my tibia. It hurt(s).
To be mobile I have to work out some of the tension from the surgery and from the crutches I have to use. Stretching now is way harder than before; it hurts more. If I don't stretch, the tension in my body makes it hard to sleep and I wake up with a sore body and headaches. If I do stretch, that pain subsides in a moment and is replaced by greater wellness and calm. The pain can be intense for a second but if you push through there is greater peace than before.
I've been experiencing some things lately that have been very difficult for me. They go beyond a knee injury and they are specific to me. Through them I can grow and improve, but it doesn't stop me from being scared of them. It doesn't stop me from dreading those moments of stretching. They hurt. There are even days when it would just be so much easier to quit, stay in bed or emotionally check out for the day. I might even think I can avoid some of that pain, or at least postpone it. It isn't true. Those reactions only stunt my growth.
Though sometimes I need reminding, I believe in stretching. I believe it reduces tension, overall pain, soreness, and injuries while increasing our calm, relaxation, wellness, and chance for continued muscle growth. Spiritually, I believe it allows each and every one of us the opportunity to be shaped and molded into celestial beings who will recognize the great Redeemer when he comes. All we have to do is push through the discomfort, refusing to give up on, postpone, or sidestep our chance to become.