Sunday, November 9, 2008

Oh how the mighty have fallen...

That's a quote from Samuel talking about Saul after his death. Don't really know if it fits this blog, but since it's been rolling around in my head all day, I decided to use it.

I have been my 10 year old son. He has been begging me to "spar" him in TaeKwonDo. I don't take TaeKwonDo, but I do practice a little Krav, so I felt I was up to the challenge. I should have known from the headache I woke up with that this wouldn't be a good day to spar, but I bargained with my son anyway. I told him if he did well on both his tests that day, I'd spar with him that night. The little rascal made an "A" on both tests! I had to keep my word, so I ran to Walmart to get a mouthpiece and then we rushed to his do-jang so he could humiliate me.

Now in theory, I held my own. In fact, I hurt today. Yes, I did manage to get him down on the ground about 6 times, but he got in quite a few points himself. I am now bruised, achy, and very much aware of my advancing years! I have been humbled. And I've decided (after spending about a day in the mullygrubs over my age) that being humbled is right where I needed to be. For from this position, I am forced to admit my own inabilities and look UP to God who is my strength, my hope, my all. I wonder, if Saul had allowed himself to be humbled, would the verse "oh how the mighty have fallen" ever have been written?

As I get older, I find more and more that, to put it mildly, I am an idiot. I think I can do anything! It's so easy to trust in my own abilities - to do the job, to protect myself, to pay the bills, fill in the blank. The truth is, I can't trust in myself at all. The older I get, the more I realize I am not immortal or invincible. I know that seems idiotic - but many of us live that way! We think we will live forever and our bodies won't give out on us like they did our parents. We'll never make the mistakes they made. We'll never get old.

I am reminded of an event that I witnessed many years ago at a youth camp. One of the younger youth pastors (who was QUITE sure of himself and his abilities) was arguing that women couldn't possibly do what men could do. They were certainly no match on the athletic field. The women there had to listen to his bragging and wish we could somehow show him he was wrong. A few hours later, we were on the field for the final challenge - the ultimate track and field event. As I watched youth and counselors showing off their abilities, I had to admit, I hoped this young man would not win...but what happened next was more than I could have hoped for. As they ran toward the hurdles, his foot caught and down he went. When it was evident he was okay, I turned toward my friend and said, "What was it that goeth before a fall?" and we laughed so hard our sides hurt. By the way, a young lady won that race...way to go Lori!

Funny story, except now, I am the one who has tripped over my own pride. Now I am the one who must be willing to look up and ask for help. I'm the one who thought I could do anything. I'm the one who has to admit I'm not as young as I used to be. I recently heard that Billy Graham said he was prepared for dying...but he hadn't been prepared for getting old. I'm starting to identify with those words!
I still don't like this getting older thing and I really don't like admitting that I'm not superman! I guess I thought I was pretty "mighty". Being humbled isn't what I'd call fun, but hopefully now I can get back to growing into who God wants me to be. Now I can allow my son to become the protector instead of me. Now I see that I need to "pass the baton" on to him so that he can run this race for God's glory. My body is starting to fail me....but I'm not done yet. I'm allowing God to pick me up, dust me off and help me, for as long as I can, run for Him...hopefully without falling so much this time.

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