Belonging

Whatever synapse is supposed to fire between my feet and brain to do the elliptical at the gym still isn’t firing like it’s supposed to.  Of course I never attempted the elliptical before I had a head injury, so it may be that I’m just really that uncoordinated.

I try to tell myself that we all have different abilities, and it’s okay that I can’t do this as well as – well, everybody else who seems to get on it.  But it made me feel good last week when this old man shuffled in like Tim Conway and could only do level one.  

I’m on level six.   

You see, it’s rare that I ever feel ahead of anyone at the gym. 

It’s getting easier, but I still feel like I don’t belong there. I feel so out of place every time I go.  Like I can’t do anything there as well as the others. 

And yet I know it’s good for me. 

I hate doing things that don’t come easily to me.  Things that I’ve had to start learning later in life, things that I didn’t grow up doing.  I’d much rather be in an environment where what we do there comes naturally to me.  Like I’ve been doing it all my life.  Like I felt at school.  Like I feel at church.  Or any place that sells hamburgers. 

Like I belong there.  

The thing is, I belong in the gym, too.  Because it’s good for me.  It’s necessary for me to be healthy, to be whole. 

Makes me wonder how many kids came in my classroom every day feeling like they didn’t belong.  Like they didn’t fit in.  Like they would never be as good as the person in the desk next to theirs. 

And I wonder how many people slipped in the back yesterday because they knew they didn’t fit in either.  Or how many simply didn’t go at all. 

Most of those people at the gym don’t even realize I feel out of place there. 

Some of them are so comfortable there that they just don’t think. 

Some of them feel just as lost as I do.

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. Tara says:

    Such true thoughts.

    We don’t frequently think or realize that someone may not feel comfortable in a place that is second nature or home to us. This is unfortunate because we don’t reach out to that person.

    We also think that everyone should realize that we are in an environment that we don’t feel comfortable in, but if they feel comfortable they don’t see that.

    We definitely need to be aware of people in whatever enviroment we meet them in, especially if they come back.

    1. sallygary says:

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Tara. Maybe that’s why the rare individuals we find in those environments who reach out to us, who help us feel comfortable, well, those people become pretty special to us. Ones who help us fit in and let us know we have a place with them. They become the people who can really speak into our lives. I think that’s what Jesus did for Zaccheus when he invited him down out of that tree. He was constantly aware of those who didn’t fit in. But they fit in with him.

  2. Beverly Marshall says:

    My favorite I think. So many lessons in this. Everyone I know has been somewhere at some time in their life where they felt they didnt’ belong.Its a very lonesome feeling. Then of course I have been those places where my granddad said “Don’t you ever be anywhere where you would be ashamed if the Lord returned” Have to admit that i have prayed, Dear Jesus not now. But of course that was when i was way younger. You will learn its easier not to sin when you get older. The sin then becomes one of omission cause you dont’ commit much as you get in your 70s. Jim says Hi and he is reading you.

    1. sallygary says:

      Thanks for those sweet words, Beverly, & tell Jim I’m glad he’s reading. I’m not quite there yet! Seems the older I get, the more aware I am of how selfish I am, how prideful I am, how conditional my love often is – how much of me still doesn’t look like him. But more importantly, the older I get, the more I feel his delight in me – his overwhelming love for all of us – right where I am. So thankful for that!

  3. dan gary says:

    You Belong anywhere you are and always have. Just remember THAT!

    1. sallygary says:

      thanks, Daddy – most importantly, I belong anywhere you are!

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