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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Surprised (09/06/07)

TITLE: The Other Day
By Marita Vandertogt


The other day, I tried to skip rope. Not being as young as I used to be, I wrapped the handles tight around my hands to get a good grip. I planted my feet hard on the ground, grinding my toes into the front of my running shoes for extra support, and with a loud voice yelled “watch me”, as I circled the rope overhead and brought it down towards my feet. It made contact with the asphalt with a loud snap, a distractingly loud snap. I went to jump into the air, hoping to give the rope enough clearance to swing to the other side of me.

It never happened.

Instead, it hit the toes of my shoes, and as I went to fling myself into the air again, pushing against gravity in childlike abandon to the great “I can still do anything” belief, my feet again did not leave the pavement on the driveway. The gazelle-like lightness of my younger days was nowhere to be found. I smiled, collected the rope, and tried again.

I can do this, I said, clamping my teeth together tight to help the concentration. Once again, with feet in launch position, I took another swing with the rope into the air, getting plenty of height above my head. Then brought it down once more, the speed whistling past my ears. This time bending my knees just a slight bit to get a higher leap into the air. Down the rope went again and hit the ground in a loud smack. I mustered up all the strength I could get from my legs, and tried to push them upward, in a one, two, three, here we go kind of routine. One, two, three, rope overhead. Rope moving past my eyes, toward my feet. Jump...

And still nothing happened.

How can this be, the question rolled around in my head, several times over. My eyes squinting in search of an answer. I had always been able to jump rope. Why is this so difficult now? Sure, I’m a little out of shape, but who knew just how much. I was surprised by the decline in my muscles. And by how much a few extra pounds could affect such a simple task. Clearly a life change was in order. I rolled the skipping rope up and put it back where I found it. This surprise at how far I’d declined physically, was an eye opening experience.

Which lead me to wondering if my spiritual muscles may have gone the same way. A little flabby and out of shape from lack of use. Or maybe weighed down with a few extra pounds of care and worry, and a lifestyle that may need a little adjusting in terms of more Him, and a little less me.

Anyway, I haven’t tried the skipping rope since. I can still feel that surprised wave of “how did this happen?” when I think of that asphalt driveway and my lead feet.

A physical lesson learned. Maybe a spiritual one too?

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This article has been read 726 times
Member Comments
Member Date
George Parler 09/13/07
Many gems of truth wrapped up in this, physically and spiritually. Good Job.
Dee Yoder 09/14/07
Hoo boy, I know the feeling. Because this happened to me ,too, I now make myself jump rope once a week! And it's just as hard as the first time, but I continue to hope that my old muscles will respond at some point! I like the tie in to the spiritual condition. It's a good reminder to take stock of mind, body, and spirit!
Julie Arduini09/14/07
A great devotion in the works here. The message definitely hit home for me. Good job!
Jacquelyn Horne09/15/07
It's just like riding a bicycle they say :0)
Have you tried that lately?
I can get my feet off the ground. It's getting the rope in the air that stumps me! Thanks for the laugh.
Jan Ackerson 09/17/07
Nicely done, as with so many pieces this week, I was charmed by the wit and self-deprecating humor.
Peter Stone09/19/07
Great devotional - how easily we let both physical and spiritual health slid due to busy lives or laziness.