"Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many. I guide you in the way of
wisdom and lead you along straight paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you
run, you will not stumble." (Proverbs 4:10-12, NIV)
Have you ever face-planted? I did a couple times as a child. Still have the faint scar on my forehead from an old cinder block that kissed me one day when I was 6. It's been awhile since I have suffered any damages from one of those nasties! Last evening was a close call.
After a long day, I decided to squeeze in a short run to unwind and refocus. About a half mile from home, I decided to remove sunglasses since the sun had gone down. As I pulled them down, I glanced across the street to wave to a fellow runner. as I drew my gaze back to the sidewalk it happened. A toe caught an edge of uneven pavement and the next thing I knew my body was almost parallel with the ground. In a moment of life preserving reaction, I stutter stepped and stumbled forward in full out of control mode. It would have been a sight. Arms flailing, legs trying to get back under my torso, and my head flopping around like a noodle in a dishwasher would have looked good in super slo-mo....
I didn't have time to cry out to God but I felt as though my nearfall was averted by an invisible hand. Somehow, by the grace of God I was able to avoid a fall and gain my balance. The correction came at a cost however. In the midst of recovery, I pulled a muscle that connects my knee to my.....butt. It could be that my body can't keep up with my brain. It wants to but my brain still thinks I am 20.
I pulled up and began to walk occasionally high stepping my leg to re-stretch that muscle that connects....well, you know what it connects. Eventually, I finished the run with a modest pace. Today is going to tell a tale. So far there are no noticeable severe pains. Excellent!
Sitting here after the fact, I'm wondering what kept me from doing the 'face plant'. It must have been an invisible net that kept me from becoming up close and personal with the concrete. I know God doesn't have some special vested interest in whether I fall or not but I do sense a presence with me every day. I believe the Lord expects me to be watchful and measure my steps. Running on uneven sidewalks is like living life in a broken world. Our eyes need to be observing and avoiding pitfalls.
"Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep?
Could you not keep watch for one hour? Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The
spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” (Mark 14:37-38, NIV)