When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.
I'm writing my Selah a little early this week, sitting in a recovery waiting room as 4 of 8 is undergoing her surgery to correct the tarsal coalition in her left foot. I have a little time to be contemplative as we watch the traffic of the surgery center, beds being wheeled by, monitors beeping, nurses chatting.
Tarsal Coalition is a condition where bones in the foot that are not supposed to be connected anymore stayed fused. It is generally believed that the bones of the foot enjoy a bit of connection while in utero as the baby is developing. Once the child is born, those points of bone or cartilage connectivity are supposed to dissipate. In 4 of 8's case, it is most likely that the fetal bone connection has remained, causing pain and joint wear-and-tear. As I have written before, in her situation, to not remove that bony connection from her fetal days could possibly render the foot stiff and inflexible.
I think I might have some tarsal coalition in my spiritual life.
There are little points of contact that serve us well when we are babies in the faith, when we are in that time of spiritual development that builds the foundation for our walk with the Lord. There are some small areas of padding, some spots where I have depended on a connection to hold some things in place. Sometimes it's a relationship, sometimes it's a way of thinking, sometimes it's a habit or a legalism or a childish way of looking at something.
And the Lord, in His mercy and grace, allows those baby bonds to remain for a while. They make us feel more stable, give us time to adapt, gives us a measure of security.
But what happens when the mentor we leaned on as an example of faith fails or moves on? What happens when we identify an area that has become a legalism, an inflexibility, a point of stumbling or judging? What happens when a prop we've put our spiritual weight on is knocked out from under us?
Well, then it's time to grow up a bit. It's time to look for links that are inhibiting our growth. It's time to to sever the idea that faith should be black and white, not mysterious, not fluid. It's time to take a spiritual x-ray, to view the bare bones of belief and search for junctures that have served their purpose, but are now inhibiting the growth we were intended for.
After all, the inherent process of faith is supposed to marked by growth, by maturation, by momentum.
Removing those unnecessary but oh-so-familiar connections may involve some fear. It may involve some pain. It may even leave a scar or two. But our walk is to take us to complete connection to the Head, the Author of our faith, the One source from who all life and faith and growth flows. To stay connected to anything else that would get in the way of that primary link does not serve us well.
So I'm reviewing my own little spirit x-ray. I'm checking the places in my heart that are supposed to stay soft. I'm thinking on the way I'm supposed to function if I am moving toward maturity.
A little connection surgery may be in order.
And that's not a bad thing.