FIRST-PERSON: What's your handicap?

by Randy Covington, posted Wednesday, May 17, 2017 (9 days ago)

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (BP) -- I ruptured my Achilles tendon while playing racquetball a few months ago, requiring a surgical procedure to re-attach the tendon. Now I find myself temporarily handicapped.

For someone who is very active, it's hard to adjust to this reality. It takes much longer in the morning to get ready for work. I can't drive, so I'm dependent upon my wife to drive me wherever I go. I can't carry anything because my hands are occupied with crutches or a scooter. And with spring in the air, everybody else is outside enjoying the sunshine while I'm largely confined to the house. I don't like being handicapped!

My convalescence has given me lots of time to think about the limitations of any handicap. I have known some permanently handicapped people who have adjusted well to their handicap and I have a great deal of respect for them.

But it has also become apparent to me that oftentimes we create our own limitations, or handicaps, that unnecessarily restrict what we are able to achieve. Our Christian journey, for example, can be hampered by self-imposed handicaps.

Just as there are exercises to enhance our physical ability to perform at optimal efficiency, there are spiritual exercises that allow us to pursue a fruitful and abundant spiritual life.

Prayer is an exercise offering us constant interaction with the Creator of the universe. Daily study of the Word of God prepares us to relate to a world that is out of touch with God. Fellowship and being part of a group of committed believers such as the church is essential to personal growth and learning to live in accordance with the will of the Father.

These are some of the most important spiritual disciplines to a healthy spiritual life in service to God. So, think for a moment of anything you may be choosing to ignore that is seriously handicapping your ability to be all that God wants you to be. Let's be proactive in maintaining healthy spiritual disciplines in order that we might know the pleasure of God in our lives.

Randy Covington is executive director of the Alaska Baptist Convention. This article is adapted from the Alaska Baptist Milepost.
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