Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sure Feet, solid ground

I have had some ankle issues in my life. They twist, rock, roll...sounds like a party but it's not and in the sports that I have participated in, I need sure feet! Feet that would land solid and not tip or roll, feet that would move quick and agile, with speed. Feet that would be able to take me fast and far or at least be reliable.

my right ankle has been broken and has hardware in it. can ya tell?

This summer I ran on the beach of Lake Superior. It was BEAUTIFUL! But it was hard. If I ran far from the shore line there were all sorts of branches and debris to twist my feet on and trip over. Yet if I ran close to the shore where it was clear, my feet sunk way into the sand and for every step I took, I was losing a half a step in the deep, sandy effort. Which of the paths would assure me that my steps would be more solid, take me farther, help me reach my goal intact? It's hard to say.

This week I was running in my neighborhood in quite a few inches of snow. The city declared a snow emergency so that the plows could easily clear the streets and life could go on. This in no way guarantees that the sidewalks will be clear, which many were not. AGAIN, I found myself trudging through inches of snow, patches of ice and uneven patches packed into treacherous little foot print molds. NOT the best path for making sure that I kept my steps even, it was unpredictable!

Good shoes, mindful steps, ankle exercises and a keen eye keep us solid on the earth, but what about in our day to day walk?

What about our walk in our spirit? What keeps us sure footed and solid there? There are a lot of paths that we can go down, a lot of treacherous situations waiting to pull our feet right out from underneath us! Navigating this life and the decisions we have is not always as simple as running a good enough pace. It's not always as mapped out as a race course.

When I played Roller Derby with the Minnesota Rollergirls, the game was changing every second and I don't mean just the ref's decisions. On skates, moving very fast, there could be an opening, a hole they call it for the jammer scoring points. If the jammer wasn't fast enough or agile enough to sprint through it, the pack will shift and change and within seconds it can be a whole new game. Cutting through a derby pack is a jumble of skate wheels and legs, you need speed and a solid step.

When we are stuck in the pack of life looking for a way around, trying to find our way along a course that is poorly marked or an end to trail that is too dim, I find assurance in the words of King David when he says "I waited patiently for the Lord he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand."

I believe that out of anyone, He will know where I should step, where I should run, which course I should be on! So much scripture promises us that God will guide our steps. He knows where I should be and what I should be doing. In proverbs there is a promise that says "When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble." As an athlete and someone seeking and trying be be sure footed in life, I can use all the help I can get to run and not stumble!

I actually used to repeat this section from 2 Samuel to myself "He makes my feet like the feet of a deer and causes me to stand on the heights…You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way." I love the idea that His options and His way for us is a clear path. Not that it will be easy, but that he is there to guide us so we don't fall or twist our ankles on the obstacles we face. That sounds like someone to follow for sure. The terrain under our feet may change and we might too, but the most solid ground is God and His words: He will never change who He is and never change His mind about His love for us.

Being sure footed can be something we do all on our own and run the risk involved. Or it can be something where we learn to let go and put our trust in someone and something higher than ourselves, someone who is up ahead , clearing the way, urging us to follow Him and guiding our steps as we go. This is the kind of stuff that goes through my head when I run in the snow and take time to think.

Have a wonderful day on your path!

References and other verses!
2 Sam 22:34,37
Psalm 17:5
Proverbs 4:12
Proverbs 16:9
Proverbs 16:8-10
Proverbs 20:24
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