͞Did someone drop you on your head when you were little?͟ I don’t know why people ask me that all of the time? I know one ear is lower than the other but I don’t think my head is that warped. Frankly, it is offensive to my parents who even though I was the fourth child and only one picture of me exists when I was less than two they still loved me and took care of me. Dad was a farmer and good with his hands and mom was a softball player way back when Roosevelt was president (Franklin – not Teddy!)They never dropped me!
I have to say, though, I did fall down a lot when I was little. When I begin to walk I had this unique problem with my feet, they pointed out. Yes, only with one foot pointing East and the other West could I walk North. An incredibly genius plan was devised to straighten out my feet to make me normal (physically speaking). Taking a pair of those little white shoes that babies first wear and putting a flat steel bar between the two was the torture device conjured. This is where the falling came in. Having a bedroom upstairs some of my first cognitive memories find me tumbling head over heels down the stairs being tripped up by that lovely red metal bar attached to my stylish white shoes. When I walked I had to hop or pivot. I left a trail that looked like a sideways snake through the snow. My siblings had no respect being I was always ͞it͟ in tag running at them – pivot, pivot, pivot – just within reach I would hear a laugh and off they would go.
I do not know how many times I tripped, fell, toppled and tumbled trying to navigate in my corrective shoes. I cried, pouted, bled and hid at times in reaction to my fate; not knowing it was only temporary. But something happened – my feet over time became straight allowing me to walk normally and even run effectively. Going through the trial of learning to walk properly was painful in many ways frustrating me immensely at the time. Fortunately I had parents that wanted better for me knowing that with a bit of correction, some pain and difficulty I could ascend beyond an imperfect start finishing with a shot at my full potential. With properly attached feet I eventually ran, played sports and lived the vibrant dream of a mediocre athlete. I am glad despite tears and bruises my parents did not let me get my way and just chuck the shoes letting me be pain free and flipper footed. Maybe they saw the bigger picture don’t you think?
How many of you have tried to do the right thing spiritually and slammed right into a wall, or tumbled over a major road block causing you to cry out, pout, bleed or hide? Did you quit? Are these hard times failures or could it possibly be that God is correcting something moving us beyond a rough start raising us toward our full potential in and for Christ. The fact that this life is temporary escapes us as we focus on the setbacks, pain and lack of progress. We get frustrated and want to give up when actually we are on the right track and need to hold tightly to the fact that God is in control and leading us to a good place. He sees the big picture knowing where we will end up if we do not give up. Sometimes life is just hard but anything worth achieving requires much work – ask any athlete, any musician, business owner or the like. The same principle happens spiritually. James put it this way ͞Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.͟ (James 1:2-4).
Trust God through the tough times and don’t be surprised if He does not chuck the ͞corrective shoes͟ because the reaction to our fate is to cry, pout while wanting to quit. Choosing to be pain free now may be settling for a stunted spiritual life where we limp along in exchange for the potential to run and compete. God has a great plan for you! Tough it out and keep pursuing His heart and commands because the big picture God sees for us is worth it, don’t you think?
This weekly devotion is written by John Key