Following a visit with family in Florida, we fly home to the Pacific Northwest. My wife prefers the window seat and I gladly take the middle, hoping that the person next to me has recently showered, doesn’t over tip the scales or sneeze all the way from Orlando to Seattle!
However, I’m not sure what’s happened. I stretch my leg muscles like we’re supposed to on long flights. Wiggle those tootsies! I do. Maybe too much for deplaning introduces me to unbelievable, zinging pain in my left leg, my polio one. I can barely hobble out.
I check out my infirmity with a physical therapist, wondering if polio returns with latent vengeance. This medico reassures me that it’s nothing to do with polio and gives me a couple of four-a-day exercises. Walk up a step and down, repeat again and again…and once more for good measure. Move those achy breaky muscles!
The results? In a matter of days, improvement begins. In weeks, I’m back to normal. Much to the therapist’s surprise, I do those four exercises EVERY day. Never miss one. This therapist isn’t used to people taking advice and following through. Why not? Don’t want to get better, stuck in pain and suffering? Not me.
St. Paul prescribes this–‘But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus’ (Phil. 3:13-14). This business of advancing and progressing, will it be difficult? Of course. Takes determination. Procrastinators will be frustrated. Stuck in neutral at best, in reverse even worse. Serious disciples shift gears into drive.
Most of us don’t like to stick with disciplines. We often poop out at the first sign of a rock and a hard place. Not St. Paul. He refuses to hang out in the good old days, digging a cement foundation down memory lane. Doesn’t gaze back for long. Nudges forward, embracing the prize of Christ Jesus. Grabbing hold of promises made and promises kept by our Lord.
How about you? Muscles atrophying by nesting in the past? Halt! Pull up stakes, hit the road, exercising your faith, following through on what you know increases your trust in the One who’ll never let you down.
Some pain? Of course. But lots more to gain!
Lord Jesus, I need to move forward with you. Amen.