How "surefooted" are you these days? Mom shared with me last night that she is feeling a little less than steady on her feet these days. It is apparent that she is shuffling her feet a little more and she is definitely not "putting the miles on" her legs like she used to as she ages. It is also apparent to me that these physiologic changes in her body bring with them mental and spiritual changes, as well. Herein is the rub for many of us where it comes to "growing on in years" with Jesus. It isn't that we are engaged in the activities of growing up so much, but that we are "growing on". We find ourselves appreciating or even considering truth in a new way. It is as though things we might have missed while we were doing all that "growing up" somehow makes sense now!
A deer is pretty doggone surefooted, but as a tiny fawn is born into this world, do we observe that same "surefooted" stance? Nope! In fact, they are kind of wobbly on those spindly legs at first and eventually they get a little bit "bouncy" and "flouncy" in their jumping about, exploring new things and facing the challenges of discovery. The tiny baby begins to grow up and in turn, all that energy of youth gives them tremendous ability to bound here and there, jumping high in the tall summer grass, and exploring new things with vigor and what appears to be limitless stamina. As the deer grows, it adds "weight" and begins to develop into the adult stages of life. In those stages, the deer is still rather nimble and able to take on the new challenges of difficult paths and hard climbs, not because it wants to climb higher, but because it knows there is provision awaiting them within the climb. There remains lots of "muscle" and pretty much limitless energies. In this stage, there is a lot of time and effort put into nurturing the offspring produced and training them to be safe and secure in their own "walk".
As the deer advances, carrying more and more weight, it struggles to be as nimble as it once was. While it remains "surefooted", the wisdom in where it makes its footing is more and more apparent. It doesn't strive for the unexplored path as much, but trusts in the ones that have proven to be rewarding time and time again. We have passed on wisdom along the way, leading little ones young in their faith to grow up and grow strong. As we grow on in years walking with Jesus, we have accumulated the weight that matters - the wisdom of the years and the weight of his truth within. We know where to find our footing and where it makes sense to look for our provision. We find ourselves exploring less and trusting more. Why? Is it because we are "growing old" in our walk? Not necessarily. It may just mean that we are more aware of our ability, his provision, and how those two intersect. In this sense, we have become "surefooted" in our trek with Jesus. We are trusting his path much more than we used to and we are stable in our walk as a result. Just sayin!