Ever stumbled in this lifetime and found yourself quickly moving toward the ground in a downward progression quicker than you could blink an eye? I have done so a couple of times - sometimes able to "right" myself quickly, and others actually hitting the ground with such force I could feel where that stumble was going to "leave a mark". Each time I stumbled I looked for a reason of some sort, but almost always it came down to my distraction with something I was saying, doing, or which caught my attention diverting it from my path at hand. I don't honestly believe those "physical" stumbles have cost me as much as some of my "emotional" or "spiritual" stumbles in life - nor did they leave as "nasty" of a scar! It is one thing to stumble and scrape a knee or elbow. It is quite another to trust one's emotions or heart to another and have it left battered and bruised by all the emotional upheaval a bad relationship can leave. It is also quite another story to try to figure out how to fill a "spiritual emptiness" within ourselves by searching the plethora of world religions and self-help gurus - those can lead us down pathways of stumbling toward ruin quicker than we could ever realize.
For people who are stumbling toward ruin, the message of the cross is nothing but a tall tale for fools by a fool. But for those of us who are already experiencing the reality of being rescued and made right, it is nothing short of God’s power. For in God’s deep wisdom, He made it so that the world could not even begin to comprehend Him through its own style of wisdom; in fact, God took immense pleasure in rescuing people of faith through the foolishness of the message we preach. (I Corinthians 1:18, 21 VOICE)
Men and women "stumble toward ruin" anytime they follow any message other than the "message of the cross", as Paul puts it. There are lots and lots of "religions" out there today - but any which don't keep the cross and Christ at the center are not going to fill the spiritual emptiness the way God designed for that "space" to be filled in our lives. Yes, we may get a little sense of having good morals, or living by some standards which reveal our good intentions to live as "good people", but the void within which only can be filled by Christ himself will still be a void! We will stumble toward ruin because our "own style of wisdom" cannot comprehend God!
Simply put, "stumbling around" is that condition wherein we are moving, but quite unsteadily. Why is there an unsteadiness about our lives when Christ is not at the center? If you have ever seen those little toys of the early 70's called "Weebles" you might understand what I am about to explain. Those small toys were kind of "egg-shaped" toys with beautifully painted faces, colorful clothes painted on their little shape, and a "magic" ability to remain upright even when they "wobble" a little. In very scientific terms, the "density" of the mass which kept it from tumbling over and always brought it back to upright acted as a "counter-balance" to any unsteadiness exerted upon that object. Apart from the density infused into the exact correct location within that Weeble, the character would not return to upright!
We need to be "infilled" with just the right "density" - that "density" is Christ himself and nothing else will help us to "return to upright" each and every time we might stumble or bumble alone! Any other thing or principle we might try to put into that space designed specifically for Christ will simply "fill space", but it won't create the "density" which brings us back to center time and time again. It is more than religion we seek - it is relationship. The relationship with Jesus is the only "balance" we need to move from "emptiness" to "fullness" in one easy, but tremendously "balancing" step! Just sayin!