Monday, March 7, 2011

Spiritual Muscle Memory...

I was impressed that Denise Wilson was able to share her testimony in Sacrament meeting yesterday. She's had a difficult 2 months since Bud's death. Denise has bad days and good days, even bad hours and some good ones too. Clearly, it's a process.

Denise mentioned "muscle memory" in her testimony. Spiritual muscle memory kept Denise coming to church, kept Denise praying, and pretty much kept Denise living the gospel even if she didn't feel entirely inclined to at moments.

Muscle memory is doing something over and over again to the point where you do it automatically without thinking about it. Muscle memory develops the interaction between our muscles and our brain.

The rituals. The motions. Sometimes that's all you can do. And, as Denise shared, some days in January and February, that was all she had.

But, that's the good news of spiritual muscle memory. While we might just be going through the motions because that is what we've learned to do, eventually we turn a corner. It reminds me of the Winston Churchill quote: "If you are going through hell, keep going."

I admire Denise's good judgement to soldier on despite days when her faith felt on shaky ground. Watching Denise has strengthened my testimony of the importance of hanging in there regardless of the trial or challenge. Spiritual muscle memory can only kick in when it's been ingrained in our behavior before calamity comes!

Whether it's a spiritual nature or a physical one, muscle memory is a fascinating phenomenon. A miracle of our intricately designed minds and bodies. One of those miracles I often take for granted but I'm certainly grateful for!

"Muscle memory refers to several valuable things. On one hand, it's like a concert violinist whose years of scales and fretwork create a template that enables him to play with precision and speed required by the greatest scores.

On a similar front, your habits of training to swim, bike and run imprint on our muscular-skeletal and nervous systems a template for greater performance we can rely upon, even when returning to training after a prolonged absence." -Mitch Thrower