The world was my gymnastics mat. A piece of flat ground was meant for one thing. A back handspring. The objective of elementary school recess? To display my skills. The main event at slumber parties? Why, Slumber Party Olympics, of course!
Middle and high school years did not change me much. Standing in cheerleading formations gave me a prime opportunity to release the need to randomly flip at a moment’s notice. The most exciting part of a basketball game? Taking turns tumbling onto the court with a series of flips during the player announcements.
My parents tell me I was somewhat “hyperactive” as a child. That probably explains the desire to want to turn flips literally everywhere I went. My pets were my audience as I performed my routines in my yard. I was confident that they were quite proud of my agile cat-like moves. The thrill of using those topsy turvy skills was something on which I thrived in my younger years.
I can replay those moments in my head so clearly that my muscles and bones now almost follow suit. I remember the pressure of the hard floor on my usually aching wrists. I remember the sound of the mat catching my feet. I remember always saying to myself…”I want to ALWAYS be able to do this.”
Wow. How dramatically did the extreme of my outlook on the world as a gymnastics mat change in a short period of time. Not due to an injury, but due to, ok, I will say it. Age. (And lack of practicing). The span of time to go to college, get married and have a child, was all it took to suddenly realize that I would NOT ALWAYS be able to do that. Life can sure humble us, can’t it?
King Uzziah had it made. Take a look at 2 Chronicles 26:1-15 and you will see that everything he did prospered. Here is a tidbit. “He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord…He sought God…As long as he sought the Lord, God gave him success.”- verses 4-6
There was not a city he could not conquer, nor a tower he could not build. His army was ready and waiting. The fertile land was productive. In every way, King Uzziah was the type of king a people would want. He had the favor of God because he had the mind of God. (Which is what America needs in a president, by the way).
Until it happened. His power led to his pride. His pride led to his downfall. Keep reading verses 16 through 23 and you will see just what happened when he lost proper focus. “King Uzziah had leprosy until the day he died…” (verse 21). Due to a series of prideful and sinful moments in his life, he suddenly became a king remembered as a leper rather than a king remembered as a hero.
Whatever our successes, talents, or achievements are, let us not make the mistake of arrogance and self reliance. Let us not have a lapse in remembering the source of our strength and our blessings. And let us not get out of the practice of whole heartedly following Christ. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows…” (James 1:17).
Now if you will excuse me, I must go find my gymnastics mat.
Repost of previous writing