Bad Knees and New Strength

Pastor's Monthly Newsletter Article for October, 2014 I’ve always had bad knees. In my younger days I used to describe myself as a person with an athlete’s mind and a librarian’s body. My interest in playing basketball and racquetball, and downhill skiing, led to numerous knee injuries, the worst of which tore my anterior cruciate ligament in 1998. (That also led to the end of playing basketball and racquetball, and downhill skiing…)

I injured my right knee again this past summer, and my doctor proposed a range of treatments from physical therapy to surgery. We decided on physical therapy, so I have been visiting the therapist once a week and doing exercises at home five or six times a week since early-July. If everything goes as planned, this work that I am now doing will strengthen my knees and my hips, and make me less likely to re-injure myself in the future. I have committed to give this my all, and so far am doing pretty well.

I’m not naturally good at keeping these kinds of commitments, so it will be interesting to see how well I do. (Ask me in a month or two… the accountability might help hold my feet to the fire…) But I know that putting in the work now will open up new possibilities for tomorrow, so I will give it my best.

That is true with my physical wellbeing, and it is true, as well, with my spiritual wellbeing. Just as I am working to strengthen my hips and knees these days, I am also working to strengthen my ability to trust in God’s promise, and my commitment to live the life Jesus has called me to live. I know that if I am to be faithful in this, I will need to develop the capacity ahead of time. Putting in the work now will open up new possibilities for tomorrow, so I will do my best.

I encourage you all to do the same. Trusting in God’s promise above all else is not easy. Living as a follower of Jesus Christ is not for he faint-of-heart. We may have high hopes for what our discipleship will look like, but we will only be able to live into those hopes if we put the work in today. So worship, pray, study, serve, give, gather with a small group or a faith partner now… and trust that the Spirit will strengthen you for what is to come.

One way you might do this is to find a small group (like the ones being organized at Saint Peter this Fall), or a faith partner, and meet regular to talk about where the growing edges are, and where you need support to keep at it.

Another great opportunity to do this is the “Our Life Together in Christ” retreat that will take place this month. Focusing on the ELCA theme “God’s work. Our hands.” we’ll explore what the life of faith looks like, and commit ourselves to growing in faith, and reaching out in Christ’s name.

Put the work in now, and possibilities will open up in the future. May God grant us strength and peace, as we grow together in faith and faithfulness.

God’s peace to you all, Pastor Dave