So far, the posts on this blog this year have been about resolutions, starting again, frustration, — all the things associated with a new year. Last week, I talked about being a pinball wizard, or more accurately, being the ball that’s bounced around in a pinball machine.
Well, as life would have it, I just got bounced!
I’ve been dealing with an ankle injury since last summer – a combination of tendinitis and a severe ankle sprain. I ended up in a boot, on a knee scooter, then graduated to an ankle brace and strengthening exercises.
Usually, I’m a beast about physical therapy (a compound femur fracture from a motorcycle accident, and a double mastectomy teach you how wonderful the results of physical therapy are!). But this time, I wasn’t as consistent. When I did my strengthening exercises, it was good and I was getting stronger, but consistency is key.
You can probably see where this is going.
The other day I was walking into church at a pretty good clip, and something popped in my ankle. “Ow!” I don’t know what it was, but it sure didn’t feel good. Leaving church, I was a little hobbled walking across the parking lot. Although I tried to ignore the reality, the truth was, I had re-injured my ankle.
I had a setback because I didn’t do what I was supposed to do. Now, there’s no way to know that if I had done all my strengthening exercises, I wouldn’t have re-injured my foot. However, the chances are good that at least the pain and tenderness might have been less.
It’s not easy to do what we’re supposed to do, even if it’s good for us. It’s easier to be lazy, or eat junk food, or blow off my daily devotion. But eventually, things will come back to bite you, and you’ll have to begin again, further away from your goal than you would’ve been had you been disciplined all along.
So, what’s the big lesson? I say it’s don’t get discouraged when you have a setback. All through scripture, God says not to be afraid or discouraged. We can be inspired by what David tells his son, Solomon, in 1 Chronicles 28:20 (NIV): “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God is with you.” David’s instructions to his son are the instructions we might hear from any parent advising their child, and they’re good words for navigating life.
I have faith that things work for good. In fact, this ankle issue might be just the push I need to get back to regular exercise. In my experience, I feel better when I exercise, and when I have my daily devotions, and when I’m doing what I need to do. The discouragement begins when I stop.
Today, I start again to fight off the pinball effect of being bounced around. We’re reminded in Galatians 6:9 (NIV): “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
How about you? Has there been a time when you fell and had to get up again? Was it motivating or did it make you want to quit?
Let me hear from you.