Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Boot

I am humbly acquiescing to my ankle doctor. It seems that sprains need immediate attention. They do not thrive on neglect and activity. They will continue to change color and swell no matter how high you elevate, no matter how much ice you pack on and no matter how expertly you wrap your ace bandage. I was missing one gizmo, the boot. It seems it was the continual flexing of my foot that was re-injuring the damaged tendons and ligaments. The boot keeps the foot in a rigid environment so it is impossible to flex your foot. (It also gives me a kind of a pirate-y gait. Arg!)

I thought I had enough knowledge after suffering a sprain several years ago. I went immediately to the ER and they wrapped my ankle, gave me lovely crutches (that only endangered me more) and painkillers. So with this last graceful trip and sprain, I thought I knew how to take care of it myself. I didn’t realize I was going to prolong my recovery.

How interesting it is to see people self-diagnosing their own spiritual injuries. A pastor trips and falls into sin, and his flock disbands. A close Christian friend lies to you and suddenly all Christians are hypocrites and church is out of the question. Or maybe we dabble in astrology and crystals and we rely on yoga to bring us inner peace…only to find ourselves still hurting, still bruised or our problem swells to unimaginable sizes. We need an absolute truth that will not give in with pressure from the world—like a splint, the Bible will prop up our life.

If you haven’t taken care of this issue, I cannot stress enough the importance of taking care of it today. Like a sprain, spiritual issues get worse with time and take longer to heal if neglected.

Is it time to make an appointment with the Great Physician in prayer? Have you any unforgiveness you’re holding inside that’s knocked you off balance? How about any unconfessed sin eating away at you? Have you ever really accepted Jesus, or just assumed you were on the right track to heaven anyway because you’re a nice person? It’s time for your spiritual check up. Make sure you’re not hobbling around on your own makeshift solution for eternity my friend. (Romans 8:31-39)

A simple prayer like this one might be just what the Doctor ordered:

Father God, I’m sick and need your healing. I need to help with forgiveness and unconfessed sin. I know that you can handle my baggage that has hindered my walk in life so far. The things that I’ve tried to fix have done more harm than good. I believe you sent your son Jesus to save me and I want to ask Him to come heal my life. Thank you Jesus, for saving me.. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, it’s time to follow God’s prescription. Find a local church that’s not afraid of Bible study and believes Jesus Christ is God’s son. Daily doses of prayer and scripture and fellowship with his people will do a world of good for a lifetime of neglect. (Don't forget, a church is like a hospital. There will be others there, seeking healing--so don't expect perfection!)

Welcome to the family, and keep giving sin and unforgiveness the boot! (Romans 8:1-2)

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Got game?

As I sit here with my leg elevated, I once again feel a blog coming on.

I play basketball with my son almost every weekday morning at the gym. It’s fun to play. A lot of moms have told me, “I can’t do that! I wouldn’t even be able to shoot.” But I figured, if I don’t try, I wouldn’t have those memories to hang on to. And how better to show my son that I love him?

Today I got hurt, which was inevitable. You put a 40-something, overweight mom on the court with a 15 yr old jock, something’s gotta give--literally. Today it was my ankle. Last week it was a quarter sized raspberry as I gracefully tripped and skid across the court on my knee. But you know, it’s all worth it to spend time with my son. Pretty soon I won’t have this time and I’ll have great stories to recount with him and his kids.

What kind of sacrifices are you willing to make to be with your kid? If I don’t reconnect with my son, how can I even try to empathize with his life? Saying, “I love you” every day just doesn’t hack it. Kids need to SEE the love. An all out, trash talking, sweat-slinging, sneaker-squeaking, one-on-one is called for with boys. (I don’t think I’ll ever let him get over the one game I made 2 pts on him before he knew what was happening. boo-yah!) It can be painful at times, but worth the effort.

Did you know that God has made that same type of effort to reach you? He did it a long time ago. He didn’t have to, but He came down in human form as a baby…only to die on a cross for what He knew we were going to do. He said in the Old Testament over and over how much he loved people, and even did a lot of miracles…but until He actually came down out of heaven on our “court” and experienced human life, we didn't understand that love. How could we think He could ever begin to empathize with our earthly lives?

He was beaten and tortured and then died. But, after 3 days He was victorious over death and our debt for sin was paid in full. Showing us His love was all it took to reconnect with His kids here on earth. It was painful, but well worth the effort. With an example like that, I figure I can suffer a few bruises and raspberries for my son so he’ll know I care and want to build on that mother/son relationship.

Are you willing to make that connection with your kids or even with your heavenly Dad?

Me, I’m going to nurse this ankle until next week…then it’s GAME ON BUD!