From 1983 to 1986, I ran over 1,000 miles on grass and pavement. Over the summer to prepare for the upcoming Cross Country season, I averaged running 30 miles per week with 150 miles for months when I felt ambitious. After a friend from college introduced me to a section of Psalm 18, I turned this verse into a prayer before I went for a jog. Yet, the context of the passage below is based upon a shepherd approaching rocky terrain. These words serve as a prayer to avoid twisting an ankle as you walk.
For who is God except the Lord? Or who is the Rock save our God, 32 The God who girds me with strength and makes my way perfect? – Psalm 18:31-32
Following a reconstructive surgery on my ankle during my junior year of high school, I was forced to wear a soft cast for five years. Whether I was going to school, off to practice or heading off for a run, this cast took a couple of minutes to slip on and tie the laces to secure my ankle. Before I finished tightening up this cast, I often said a silent prayer to God to protect my ankle from any major contact. If I ever overextended myself following my surgery, my left sock was soaked in blood at the end of the day.
He makes my feet like hinds’ feet [able to stand firmly or make progress on the dangerous heights of testing and trouble]; He sets me securely upon my high places, Psalm 18:33.
There was a time when I took walking for granted. As a teenager and gifted athlete, I never thought about twisting my ankle unless I was going hiking on rocky terrain. Yet, my accident while running and subsequent surgery has forced me to place my faith and trust in the Lord whenever I go for a walk. If you do claim Psalm 18:33 as the Walkers Prayer before going outside, I can’t guarantee that you won’t slip. However, as you approach dangerous terrain, look down and watch each step so your feet are secure.
by Jay Mankus