Grit? Hardly. I awake, dismayed. Another day cranks into gear with exercises from my physical therapist, designed to get this body up and running. Dogged compliance? Vital. I agreed, months ago, to his regimen: healing rigor.
If I want to jog again — and I do — I gotta.
Today? Don’t wanna.
Last January a common runner’s injury waylaid me — a stress fracture, undiagnosed for three months, exacerbated by new bone spurs and acute arthritis.
“Don’t fall,” my doctor said, after reviewing my latest bone scan.
“Wear this boot,” the specialist said, after reviewing my MRI.
Oh, these bodies, part stardust, part grit, mostly water: vibrant one moment, frail the next.
Once the bone re-knit, I worked hard to regain strength, endurance, and range of motion.
Then . . . a sprain. More time out. More P.T.
As of now, my ongoing nemesis? The one-legged bridge:
- Lie on back
- Bend one knee
- Raise body 15 times (twice daily)
Ooof. Floor joists creak beneath me, their weakening structure only perceived when called upon to bear weight. Kinda like me.
Resolutely, I muscle up — 1, 2, 3 — pant — 9, 10 — then muster that last vertical heave . . . 15!
Zip. It doesn’t get easier. How can this be? I’ve been so faithful!
My favorite C. S. Lewis poem — with a bridge in it — comes to mind: “As the Ruin Falls.”
Peace, re-assurance, pleasure, are the goals I seek . . .
Oh yeah. This girl wants what she wants.
Only that now you have taught me (but how late) my lack.
I see the chasm. And everything you are was making
My heart into a bridge by which I might get back
From exile . . .
I feel the nudge. Exiled from running late in life, this ole heart feels aerobic as well as emotional loss.
. . . And now the bridge is breaking.
Lewis is writing about his conversion. Human grit, intellect, and resolve proving insufficient, his broken heart gives way to God.
A secondary, physical application startles me as I consider Paul’s charge to believers: “Work out your salvation with fear and trembling.”
God sure has a sense of humor.
The name Jehovah-Jireh, “The Lord will provide,” appears in my reading for the day. I picture a mighty hand upholding me — despite my dubious one-legged bridge . . .
For this I bless you as the ruin falls. The pains
You give me are more precious than all other gains.
Friends, what helps you say yes to routine demands—those things you dodge despite know they’re good for you?
Hear Phil Keaggy’s musical setting and performance of “As the Ruin Falls” here.
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