In Matthew 4: 6-7, Jesus is tempted by the devil in the wilderness: “If You are the Son of God,” he said, “throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He will command His angels concerning You, and they will lift You up in their hands, so that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.’” Jesus replied, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
Growing older has taught me a few things. The challenge has been that I need to constantly be mindful of the lessons I’ve learned. I have also discovered that they are all too easily forgotten.
For example, when I was younger, and sure of foot, I really didn’t look at my feet much when I stepped forward. I didn’t find it necessary.
It was a rare occasion when I would stub a toe and lose my balance. I took this for granted.
Fast forward to today. I now have neuropathy in my feet. I had this checked out years ago. I was told that this is likely the result of a sports injury. The numbness began with a small spot on the bottom of my right foot. Now, the bottoms of both of my feet lack feeling.
This is such a strange sensation. I have now found it difficult to gauge my footing, especially on carpeted surfaces. I have learned that I need to concentrate upon watching my feet more often when I move. I never would have imagined this when I was in my youth.
I now am especially careful how I step in the shower, going down stairs, and walking on unfamiliar ground. I don’t want to trip, fall and injure myself.
I’ve learned that it is dangerous to forget to be cautious in my condition. I need to remember my age and my limits.
Do you believe in guardian angels? Is God watching over you by designating a spiritual presence whose job it is to keep you from harm?
If so, you should do your guardian angel a favor and ease up on how tough you make things. Err on the side of caution and use some common sense. Don’t take chances, even if you believe you can safely get away with it. Even Jesus didn’t go that far.
Walter is pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church and has served as parish pastor for more than 25 years.