“Help! I've fallen and I can't get up!” The image of a woman lying helpless on the floor flashes across my TV screen. An ominous voice startles me with the statistic: “One out of three people over sixty-five will fall this year.” Since I'm far beyond that age category, advertisers target me to buy an alert button to hang like a costume jewelry pendant around my neck. They promise that if I fall and press the button, I'll be rescued.
I deliberately pray a prayer now throughout the day, whatever the circumstances, which I didn't pray in my earlier years. “Lord, please help me not to fall.” Balance has become a big deal.
Some of my peer friends who are advancing in age try preventive maintenance. They enroll voluntarily in a rehab class for instruction and exercise to increase their mobility and improve their balance. Both physical and spiritual balance need attention especially in the calendar-challenged season of our lives.
Accidental falls happen to Both the toddler and the advanced-in-life totterer and anyone in between are prone to falls. The small child just learning to walk gets up quickly from a tumble after a few tears. He's closer to the floor so the bumps and bruises are not usually critical. Baby fat cushions the fall. The older person, a veteran walker over a lifetime, may become careless when walking and a fall is often more serious. Our bones are more brittle and we have less natural padding.
Most of the above physical principles are transferable into spiritual warnings. Although I'm a longtime Christian, I'm still in danger of losing my spiritual balance and falling. The road of life gets rougher and I can lose my spiritual bearings. I tend to spiritually shuffle instead of walking erect and alert, focusing on where I am going.
An unexpected trauma can topple me spiritually. I may not be as careful to walk in God's full light as I did in the fervor of my first love for Christ. I tend to carry too much baggage of the past; it may drag me down to a fall. My attachments to this earthly life may remain too strong. If my spiritual feet are tired and weak from the length of life's journey, I may need spiritual orthotics in my shoes to maintain my steady walk with the Lord. I may not hear God's whisper of guidance as clearly as I did when I was in a more intimate relationship with Him. Nevertheless, the Holy Spirit is available as my spiritual hearing aid.
Jesus warned us to watch and pray so we will recognize the particular temptations of our life road and not stumble. I must not let my spiritual vision become clouded with the cataracts of the passing things of this world. Along my pathway are sins which can so easily beset me and upset me. They cause me to fall if my spiritual eyes aren't fixed on the Lord. My feet may get tangled up in the trivia of the temporal and down I go spiritually. If I'm not progressing in my faith and trust in God, I slip backward and eventually take a spill. If I don't keep my spiritual knees strong by kneeling in worship literally or worshiping in my spirit, I will join my peers who head for knee and hip replacements.
Only by prayer can I keep from fainting from the weariness and fragility of advancing age. Some of us in our senior years settle for the rocking chair posture too soon and fall from weakness caused by physical inactivity. On the other hand, some of us tend to excessively hurry since the time left on earth seems so short; we trip and fall too. I should trust Jesus to show me His will for both my physical and spiritual pace at each season of life.
I must beware of elevating myself with high heels of pride for my achievements and turn an ankle and take a tumble. “Pride goes before a fall,” the Scripture declares. I must not be intoxicated with the luxuries and comforts of this world which the evil one designed to keep me from walking the straight line of righteousness.
In my advanced years my spinal discs tend to compress or deteriorate and I find I have lost a few inches in height. Applied spiritually, I might “lose my backbone” by no longer standing up straight for the moral and spiritual issues I once stood for so enthusiastically. Spiritual sciatica may set in.
I can avoid a spiritual "Oops!" if I obtain whatever spiritual alignment I need to keep walking tall in my spirit without falling—all the way to the Finish Line.
The Rest of The Way
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