This month brings with it the beginning of Fall. The season that dictates that the year has hit full maturity. Maturity. What an intriguing, yet scary concept. It signifies full development and the ability to respond to our environment and situations in an appropriate manner that suggests that all childlike behavior has been put away.
A few months ago, I met a man in a convenience store. He wasn’t much older than me, yet years of wisdom seemed to seep from his pores. I watched as he slowly carried several items to the counter; dropping a few along the way. One of his legs was shorter than the other which caused him to walk with a limp and kept him off balance. My mind jumped into overdrive and I instinctively felt pity for the cards he had been dealt in life. I scrambled to help him while making sincere and empathetic comments about how hard it must be for him to do certain things.
He smiled and said, “Life is hard for everyone, why should mine be any different? The only difference between me and most people isn’t this limp that you see; it’s the fact that I embrace it. I wouldn’t be what God intended without it.”
I’ll admit, the man’s statement flew over my head at first. He might as well be speaking Spanish to someone whose understanding of the language is limited to, “Mi casaessu casa.” So, the maturity of his words fell on deaf ears at the time. A few weeks later, my world was rocked momentarily and the wisdom spat from his mouth rang in my ears and in my mind.
Embrace Your Limp!
We all have one. For some it is weight, education, physical ailments, finances, poor health, unemployment, self-doubt, alcohol, drugs, mental issues, family problems…the list goes on and on.
But just like the seasons change, so should we. There comes a point when we all must mature; and act accordingly. We can still throw pity parties from time to time and sometimes a good cry is the only thing that cleanses the soul. But eventually, we must respond to our limp; making it work for us and not against us.
Why do bad things happen to good people? So that they can embrace their limp and use it to make a change; either in themselves or in others. You can’t have a testimony, without a test. Why does someone get cancer? Maybe so they can be a positive source for others in bringing attention to the disease. Why did your car stop working? Maybe so that you wouldn’t be part of that deadly three-car pileup along your commute. Why am I unemployed? Maybe because you are in a line of work that was not meant for you in the first place. Why am I always struggling with money problems? Maybe because you are making money your idol.
It may not seem like it, but your limp does not have to be the big, bad monster that you think it is. If it was not a part of your life, you would not be the person God intended you to be. Maybe your limp is actually the one thing that will aid you in changing yourself, or in changing the world. The beauty lies in being able to find out how to use your limp to help you grow and ultimately shine.
As for me…when I grow up and put away childlike things, I want to be just like that man in the store – someone who truly knows how to embrace their limp.