Off Balance

Once upon a time in my younger years, I injured a disc in my lower back. My doc recommended me to a physical therapist who had helped other patients avoid back surgery with exercise. Even though I’ve never described myself as athletic and in general ‘exercise’ is not my activity of choice (I only exercise if it’s disguised as something else, like taking the dog for a walk, or having a conversation with someone while walking, or walking with the goal of actually getting somewhere, or doing my daily treadmill time so that I can listen to my favorite podcasts uninterrupted), I decided avoiding surgery was worth it. So I showed up at the PT place three days a week to learn to exercise for the benefit of my back. The majority of my time there was spent walking backwards on the treadmill. It’s not near as easy as it sounds, either physically or mentally. We can all take a few steps backwards at a time but generally when we do so we are preparing to turn around and face forward as we continue our locomotion.

It took a lot of concentration to make my muscles and joints work in an unusual way for a sustained period of time. It upset my sense of balance and I had to hold on the handrails the entire time. And although over time it did become slightly easier it was never easy or natural like walking forward.

Through our conversations about following Jesus I often say that ours is a faith of movement and going forward. AND, our journey involves times of stillness and times of rest. AND, our journey requires that we are aware of what’s behind us without being inhibited by it. It’s a balance thing.

Time/Life/Seasons/God’s Kingdom continuously moves forward whether we are facing forward or not. Every step, every moment of our journey impacts and influences the next one. We can’t deny what’s come before AND we can only effectively move forward by looking forward. Attempting to walk backwards for sustained periods of time makes us prone to being knocked off balance.

Heavenly Father, in you we live and move and have our being: We humbly pray you so to guide and govern us by your Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of our life we may not forget you, but may remember that we are ever walking in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Book of Common Prayer, page 100

Jesus offers us the invitation “follow me” not to ignore or deny our past but to show us The Way of life in which we are enabled to continuously live and move and have our being in God.

What behind you is knocking you off balance or distracting you from moving forward?

One thought on “Off Balance

  1. Lots to think about here. Thanks.

    Blessings, Michele Linn  <        ððð Please ððð. If you forward this, please remove all email addresses before you forward it on.

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