Rhoades to Fitness
It's YOU vs. YOU

The Cup


A few weeks ago, my roommate and I were in the kitchen one morning before work, talking about life and God. She pulled her purple plastic travel cup out of fridge and proceeded to unscrew the lid. After a few attempts she gives up, holds the cup out to me and says “here, muscles, get this open.” I took it with confidence that I could give it a twist and it would come right off. (Ya know, opening food jars and fingernail polish is a specialty of mine. ;)) Expecting it to be tough, I gripped the lid as tightly as I could and gave that lid all my strength…it didn’t budge. Again, I repeated what I just tried…nothing. At this point I was getting so frustrated because this stupid purple cup was defeating me! one more big UMPH…i give up! stupid cup! I mean, What the heck? I looked at her and said, “I can pick up over 300 lbs of dead weight off the floor but I can’t unscrew this lid”. As i was saying those words, I turned the lid ever so gently and it came right off. “How hard were you trying to get that lid off?” I asked, Patrice. “Hard.” she replied.  I sat there for a second looking at the lid in my hand. “Me too. I’m pretty sure God is teaching us a valuable lesson right now, that goes along perfectly with what we were just discussing. We were trying SO hard, that we made something so simple impossible.” We looked at one another with wide eyes, “WHOA.” 

How many times in life do we try too hard? “It can’t be simple. Life is hard! Isn’t it?” That’s what we all think. In the kitchen that day, the analogy was applied toward our spiritual relationship with God, and our earthly relationships. We complicate God so much because we think to have a relationship with Him it must be hard. Well, that’s not how my God works. Its so simple…He loves us so much and wants to have a relationship with every person that walks this earth. Why would a God that’s so loving make a relationship with Him seem impossible. He wouldn’t. WE make it hard. WE think it can’t be that easy, because nothing is that easy. We think, “I’ve messed up in the past, I’m not deserving of a love so great, how can He love me?” Stop letting your past define you and let God define you. He never leaves us, we leave Him, and HE waits patiently for us to run back into His arms. Just like any other relationship, He wants us to make time for Him, trust Him, love Him, talk to Him. That’s all. So simple. 
Let’s look at other relationships. We make these hard as well. Friendships, dating and marriage. If someone is important to you, you tell them with words, you show them by making time for them, you treat them with love and respect, you forgive their mistakes, you treat them like you want to be treated, you put forth effort into the relationship or they won’t work. If only one person in a relationship does all the above, the relationship will break and fall apart. Both parties, have to give and receive. I’m a big giver. But something I’ve always struggled with is receiving. Receiving love, gifts, whatever, I’ve always thought, “I don’t want your gifts because I have nothing to give back.” A friend once told me, If someone gives you something, it’s because they think you deserve it or need it. If you don’t receive it, you are stealing the joy that person is getting from giving you that gift.” Wow. I never thought about it like that. She’s taught me so much. Though I still struggle with it, I’m slowly getting better. Loving people is so important to me. I think it’s my purpose on this earth, to love. Because of this I’ve always thought, “I don’t need as much love back, I’m strong and I can handle it. They need more love than I do. So I’m okay with not getting back what I give.” Just this week, My friend told me I need to stop that. That I need to receive love just as much as anyone else. I know she’s right, and I have no idea where that lie was coming from all these years. I also know that I can’t change over night and it’s something I have to work on if I want strong healthy relationships and one day a strong healthy marriage.
Lets change pace and talk about another relationship, the one you have with yourself. Are you abusing your mind by telling yourself you aren’t good enough, you aren’t pretty, you aren’t the perfect size, you aren’t deserving of love? Are you abusing your physical body by putting only junk and unhealthy foods in you mouth day in and day out? Are you being sedentary and lazy, not working at making your muscles and bones stronger? Are you in an unhealthy relationship with someone who takes everything you have and doesn’t give you anything in return? I could go on with examples but I’ll stop. These are all forms of abuse that we put on ourselves. And I’ve been guilty of them all at some point in my life. Simple solutions? Pretty much. Start slow by making better food choices, going for walks, then progress into even better eating and harder exercising. Try looking at yourself through God’s eyes and not what you’re telling yourself you are every time you look in the mirror. When someone gives you a compliment, accept it. They don’t have to give you one and they see something that you don’t. Take it to heart. Get out of the relationship that sucks you dry. Or if you are the person that’s not giving what you should, then sit back and make the decision to put someone else first. Give back what you are receiving. If you are spreading yourself thin with responsibilities, prioritize and get rid of the things that aren’t necessary that will give you more breathing room. 
I find that “simplifying” has been the theme of this month. Are you trying too hard to get that cup open like I was? Maybe it’s easier than we are making it out to be. 

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