I fell into a hole today. Other than the humiliation of being sprawled out on the lawn of a funeral home, and a sprained, swollen and black and blue “pinky” – there were no serious repercussions. Sometimes I feel like holes in the ground just wait for me – or perhaps I’m just a bit of a klutz.
One of my most memorable falls happened a number of years ago in my back yard. We had unsuccessfully tried to breed our long-haired dachshund, Brandy, to a dapper young male dachshund. Brandy wanted nothing to do with him. Her heart belonged to the poodle down the street. No sooner than we had ended an unsuccessful visit with this young dachshund suitor I looked outside my kitchen window to discover that the neighbor’s poodle had come calling. He had climbed our chain link fence to “wed” our little dachshund. I grabbed a broom and ran out of the house chasing the poodle whose heart’s desire was obviously bent on fathering Brandy’s first puppies. As I was lapping the yard while chasing the poodle with the broom I fell face down into a hole, thus unable to sweep away the suitor who was already quite “swept away”. I feel confident that if this awkward scene had been captured in the YouTube era it would have gone viral. Alas, this fall had consequences – scraped arms and knees – and six long, grey, curly and quite adorable dach-a-poos.
Falling into holes can hurt, and leave all kinds of lingering physical consequences. However, there are also “spiritual holes” we can trip over or fall into. The results can be far more devastating. These holes can be little pits of distraction or gaping craters of anxiety and worry. We can be sure that all forces of evil will try dig holes around us hoping to trip us up.
As I read the scriptures below I was struck by the charge to make level paths for my feet. How can I make my ground level?!
I can do this by learning from God’s discipline, by throwing off the things that hinder me or “trip me up”, and by fixing my eyes on Jesus.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons:
“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.  “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.
I so appreciate, that even though I may be clumsy on my feet, I have a God who is willing to hold me up and keep me steady.
To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy–  to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.