I am a student at Principia College, and one of my favorite extracurricular activities is playing frisbee on our Chapel green most afternoons and in an indoor gym on Monday nights. I’ve never been particularly athletic, and so discovering I wasn’t incompetent at frisbee was exciting and meant I became a pretty big fan.
One Monday night, I was playing indoors with a large group of people, and I was barefoot. The game was fun; there was a lot of spirited and joyful competition between the two teams, and I was playing fairly well. Overall, I was having a great time. My day had not gone as smoothly as I’d hoped, and I’d been looking forward to frisbee as a way to burn off some steam.
Partway through the game, I was sprinting down the court and had to stop suddenly, reacting to the path of the frisbee. I landed on one of my bare heels with all my weight, and the shock was extraordinary and quite painful.
My initial reaction was frustration that I wouldn’t be able to play anymore. I wasn’t ready to quit for the night—I’d been doing so well! Almost immediately, I decided that I would continue to play, and just push through the pain, ignoring that “still small voice” of God (see I Kings 19:12) telling me to be still. I’d been taught to rely on God, but in that moment, I was stubbornly insisting on relying on my own fallible strength.
My stubborn desire to handle this without God vanished, and I was grateful for His presence.
Taking a step forward, it became clear that “pushing through the pain” wasn’t a smart option, since putting any pressure on my foot was almost unbearable. My frustration increased; I felt it wasn’t fair that such a great time be interrupted by this issue. As the game continued around me, I walked slowly down the court. I was watching the harmony everyone else was expressing and the hymn that begins “I walk with Love” came to mind (Minny M. H. Ayers, Christian Science Hymnal, No. 139).
I walk with Love along the way,
And O, it is a holy day;
No more I suffer cruel fear,
I feel God’s presence
with me here;
The joy that none can take away
Is mine; I walk with Love today.
—Minny M. H. Ayers, Christian Science Hymnal, No. 139
I could only remember the lines “I walk with Love along the way, / And O, it is a holy day.” So I started humming that to myself over and over again, affirming that with every single step I took, I was walking with God, divine Love. That despite feeling like I’d had a rough day, it had actually been a “holy day” because God had been in charge. My stubborn desire to handle this without God vanished, and I was grateful for His presence.
Almost immediately the pain began to recede, and I was able to jog again. I began playing once more, but was still experiencing discomfort every time my foot touched the ground. Then, the thought came to me that I needed to let go of the frustration about my day. I began really focusing on the idea that I’d had a holy day, rather than a rough one, and found that I was able to recognize and remember the good. Moments later, the pain was completely gone, and I was able to run and play with ease again.
Emily Clarke is a junior in college. She is pursuing a major in English and a minor in studio art. She loves to read, write, play frisbee, and cook.
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