Dry heaves and Monday morning are not a winning combination. I had woken up too late to take my usual morning walk with my husband, so I headed to the basement for a quick workout instead. Twenty minutes on the elliptical at twice my normal speed equals double the efficiency, right? Plus, a friend had just downloaded a bunch of sermons onto my smartphone, so I could do double duty and pray while I perspired.
Good plan; poor execution. Instead, I almost expired!
To paraphrase Newton’s third law of motion, for every inaction there’s an equal and opposite reaction. Thirty extra—blissful!—minutes of sleep meant I was behind before I even got out of bed. To “save” time, I put on my headphones and began exercising. I started out slowly, eventually picking up speed so that by the last half mile I was feeling like Jesse Owens. The faster my feet whirled round and round, the stronger and more in-control I felt.
Until I stopped. The moment I stepped off the machine, I felt a strange upheaval in my stomach, the kind of intense nausea I had not felt since I was in the first trimester of pregnancy a quarter-century ago. So I did what any self-actualized, 21st century Christian woman would do: I knelt in front of the porcelain throne until my brief (praise God!) exercise-induced morning sickness receded.
The Bible makes it clear that God can talk to us anywhere—on the top of a mountain, in a bush that won’t burn up, even sitting on a heap of ashes scratching boils with pottery shards—but I’ve never heard of the Holy Spirit talking to someone hugging a toilet. Nonetheless, I believe that’s where he met with me and whispered, Stop.1