My gait has been off lately, and that’s forced me to focus upon my walking. I injured my left knee in junior high while doing a running broad jump, and it reminds me of that fall when I get a little over zealous. In March, I did enough damage to cause a limp. I favored my right leg for two months, and my limp stayed on after my knee healed. I didn’t notice it until last weekend when several folks asked me why I was limping. I decided it was time to straighten up my gait.
Focus is the key to correcting a bad habit, and my limp had evolved into one. I decided to walk slowly, keep my back straight and be mindful of my balance. It was going pretty well, but I wasn’t seeing or feeling the progress I desired. The process was painful because lazy muscles were having to pick up the slack, and dominant ones were having to give up control. It literally felt like a battle between my legs and me. The right wasn’t giving up control, and the left was cool with that arrangement. I was determined to get both in a straight line!
Fate intervened when I injured my right leg on Sunday. I was standing on my bed while putting up a curtain rod, and the phone rang. It was in the kitchen, so I walked over to the end of the bed and stepped down. I immediately felt the strain on my right leg. It hadn’t stretched like that since junior high, and it was not enjoying the lead in that moment of strange movement. I felt like kicking myself, and both legs agreed wholeheartedly. My stupidity had caused an injury to my “good” knee!! I had to smile in the pain because I realized this was definitely going to move my gait to the left!
Thank God my knee was not injured at all, but my pride and the muscles in my right leg were throbbing. The great news is that my gait is getting straighter by the day. It isn’t easy to focus on each step, but it’s worth the effort. The lessons of late have been about finding balance and getting my heart centered. Like my legs, it’s leaned and limped on both sides.
God knows I am a visual learner who needs hands-on experiences to fully grasp the lessons He has for me. I know He didn’t cause the injuries that led me to learn the importance of balance; my careless choices did that. I was showing off on the track decades ago, and I wanted to save a few seconds on Sunday when I raced for my phone. I got everyone’s attention when I landed on my knee, and I made it to the phone on time; but those decisions had consequences that went well beyond the moment in which they were made, as do all choices.
I’m not sure what God has in mind for me, but I know He wants my heart to be centered in His Son’s precious love. The center is where He is, and my heart’s gait will never be straight until I get there. That means making sure every step leads me a little closer to where He is.