40 Days in the Psalms – Day 18

Ps 86 – “Train me, GOD, to walk straight; then I’ll follow your true path.”

Like many people, I’ve been running for many years.

At one point I assumed that everyone can run. How hard can it be? Lift your knees, pick up your feet, and get going. But we all differ biomechanically. We land in different ways, which puts different stresses on our ankles, knees, hips, and leg muscles. We may land on the outside of our feet (over-pronating) and roll inwards with each step … and not even know it. Some of us land on the ball of our feet and glide; others of us land on our heels first and send shock-waves up our legs. Injuries and strains quickly follow.

RunningTruthfully, our natural running form may be a harmful running form. It takes great intentionality to change our gait or modify our stride.

Spiritually speaking, I’ve also assumed that following Christ should be fairly easy for us all. How hard can it be? Get on your knees, open your Bible, and get going. But again, we all differ. Christ meets each of us in different ways. It’s not nearly as “natural” as we may have thought. Some of us have been spiritually “bent” for so long, we don’t know what spiritually “straight” feels like.

The Psalmist seemed to understand his own propensity to drift. He knew that he needed “training” before he could follow the “true path.” Interestingly enough, he didn’t look to spiritual mentors. He looked to God Himself. “Train me, GOD….”

What a great prayer for each of us during this Lenten season.

May the Lord train us and shape us, to minimize the spiritual “injuries” to which we are all prone. As we learn to “walk straight” perhaps we’ll face less danger from pride, selfishness, and all of the “hyphenated self sins” (as Tozer used to describe them — “self-righteousness, self-service, self-interest, etc”).

Breath Prayer for the Day: “Train me, GOD, to walk straight.”

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2 Responses to 40 Days in the Psalms – Day 18

  1. Truda says:

    Excellent analogy. When I first started running, my coach would run behind me. She corrected my habit of running with my left foot pointing out rather than tracking straight. Over time this would have destroyed my knees. A friend thought I was foolish to pay someone to “teach me to run”. “After all, everyone knows how to run”, she chided. Not so …

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