I have been working a ton of hours lately. Between work (2 jobs) and school, I have been putting in 60 hour weeks in the kitchen lately. There was one week recently where I put in over 80 kitchen hours!
I have to be honest — I have never worked so physically hard in my life. Every job is a dynamic of both physical and mental work. Pastoring was pretty much 90% mental/thinking and 10% physical. Professional cooking is more like 50% – 50%. I am physically wiped out at the end of a week — and mentally tired too.
One of the things I have noticed is that the pains in my body as a result of 12 hour shifts on my feet can be intense — and the pain moves! It usually starts in my left foot. This is the foot I broke as a kid and I get pretty significant pain right where the break occurred. But then I will notice that the pain will move to my right knee… and then my lower back… or shoulders… it keeps moving!
Because I am compensating for the pain.
When my foot is aching, I tend to put more pressure on my other leg and even “lock it” — hence the pain in my right knee. And then to compensate for that, I will stand in such a way as to aggravate my back… you get the idea. Now you don’t have to worry about me. It is nothing that some advil doesn’t take care of… but I think there is a spiritual lesson in all of this too.
When we are hurting in one place spiritually, we can over-compensate and cause pain/issues to develop elsewhere. We can keep doing this and end up managing our pain/issues… but never dealing with them. They just keep moving around.
I have been told (and am taking the advice) that the best thing to do for the pain is (1) lose some weight; and (2) work on my core strength/posture/stretches/etc. In other words, get rid of some bad habits and lifestyle issues and add some physical disciplines.
The same is true spiritually.
As opposed to just compensating for spiritual weakness and issues, we need to shed bad habits or unhealthy things — and then add some good spiritual disciplines.