First a question and then a story:
Question: How flexible are you?
Story: Awhile ago, after Denise and I got back from serving at our regional middle school camp, I went out to the backyard and began jumping on the trampoline in order to burn off some excess energy. Normally after a week of camp I have little to no energy left, but I had just had my 3rd cup of coffee and even downed one of those nasty energy drinks that you turn to in times of desperation. So…I was…amped. And also, most importantly, we had experienced such an amazing time in the Presence of the Lord that I was hard pressed to settle down any time soon.
As I bounced up and down, I rejoicingly remembered the handiwork of the Lord in students lives, and was so deeply aware of the beauty of the blue skies, the cool dusk air and thoughts of my family. At the time I was thinking about our oldest son heading to college, turning 40 and the last season of life in Salem, Oregon. I was thinking about how grateful I was for Jesus, my wife, kids and church family.
All this was rolling through my heart and mind as I went up and down on the trampoline.
Then it happened.
Like a bullet in the blue sky, one of the metal trampoline springs broke and shot through the air directly towards me. I was in mid-air descent when the shrapnel honed in on me. With a whizzing sound much like that of a gunshot, the spring sliced the air and then grazed the side of my right bare foot. Thankfully it was “only a flesh wound.” There indeed was blood, but nothing a bandaid couldn’t handle. As I, with dramatic flare, replayed the events to my family, I was keenly aware that the whole situation could have been much worse. In other words, I do not have a gaping hole in my chest or one less eye.
That’s my story.
Now back to my question: How flexible are you?
Over the years we have had to replace various springs on our trampoline. Over time the springs become brittle, rusty and eventually break. The intended purpose of the spring is to give flexibility to the trampoline, but time has a way of compromising that effectiveness. Occasionally the springs need to be replaced.
What “springs” need to be addressed in your life? Are there areas of your heart that have gotten rigid, rusty and brittle? How spiritually flexible are you? When is the last time you have made a significant change? Are you making new friends, sitting in different seats, worshipping in fresh ways or learning new skills? Consider reading a different version of the Bible. Try new foods or coffee blends. Serve in a different ministry for a short season to see how it fits.
How flexible are you?
My prayer today is that God would replace hard and brittle “springs” in us so that we are increasingly effective for seasons to come.
Consider Ezekiel 11:19-20 “And I shall give them one heart, and shall put a new spirit within them. And I shall take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances, and do them. Then they will be My people, and I shall be their God.”