This Knot On My Shin

Image taken from website: old man army

I’ve done some crazy and outright stupid things in my younger days. Let’s face it; us guys don’t always think clearly. As I was reminded this week by my wife of my bull-like stubbornness, I was thinking about something that I did when I was given my first “big boy bike”. I had grown and the little BMX bike I first learned on was finally too small. It was time for an upgrade and my parents laid down the cash for a brand new 10 speed.  I was so excited because I could finally go fast; really fast. You know that feeling you get when you take in big gulps of  air in your lungs, the wind is plastering your 70’s hairdo firmly on your skull and the smile can’t be removed from your face because speed equals freedom. Well, let me tell you what, I was finally ready for some asphalt, pavement and the sound of my middle school legs cranking the heck out of  those pedals. The day came when the maiden voyage was to occur. I took my maroon, orange and gold two-wheeled rocket ship out of the garage and put my right leg over the bar. My excitement was piqued. My heart began to race and my hands had a death-grip on the handle bars. Just one thing I didn’t plan on; the difference in how you pedaled the new bike. You see, the old bike was one of those bikes that you had to keep pedaling because the cranks never stopped. There was no coasting with the old bike. If you wanted to coast, or reduce your speed, you just took your feet off of the pedals and just let them hang or rest them on the down tube. So, right off the bat, I knew there was going to be a quick adjustment period there. I pointed my bike out of the garage and down the driveway to climb a hill to reap the delicious reward of speed on the downslope. One thing you need to know right now is the topography of the area I grew up in. Hills, giant foothills of a beautiful arid mastodon called: Mt. Baldy.  I walked my new bike to Mountain Avenue, the name says it all, and began my assent. Right foot, check. Left foot, got it. Butt on seat, ready for fun. Right from the start, I should have turned around and went back to level ground and learned how the new bikes “free-wheel” gears worked; but, noooooo, I just had to go fast; and right now at that. As I started to go, I couldn’t put enough pressure on the right pedal and crank it because I was in too high of a gear. So naturally I would fall over and the pedals would reverse making that neat clicking sound by the rear wheel that all 10 speeds are famous for. Annoying. I was a little perturbed, but I righted myself and tried again all the more. Same result, tipped over bike and cool sound from rear wheel again. Now I am getting crabby. This time, I put my head down, set my teeth and just hammered the right pedal with all I had within me. Whiz, spin and smack. The pedals reverse again but this time the left pedal nails my left shin with the force of a rhino charge and left a huge knot in my shin and some ridiculous throbbing pain as well. Yep, my wife was right, stubborn like a bull. This old memory reminded me of how determined I can be to do things in my own power. For me, in my life, this is a huge mistake. Even today, every once in a while, I will try to fix a problem without going straight to the Lord in prayer. I know better; but for some reason, from time to time,  I forget about the hard lessons I learned as a young man so long ago. If  you are living your life, like a storm in a teacup in a sideshow…. If your first reaction, when the challenge presents itself, is to clench your teeth and push harder in your own glory and power, take a lesson from this knucklehead and stop. God loves talking to His children. He don’t care when and He is always open and available for chat. Tell Him how frustrating this new problem, or old problem, is. You see, our power is flawed and doomed to fail. Let yourself be guided by the Spirit and imparted with the Lord’s limitless strength. Let me leave you with this verse that helps me to remember that my strength is nothing and my weakness is nothing for Him to overcome: 2 Corinthians 12:9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.(NKJV) It really is simple if you look at it with humility. Our power is nothing and God’s might is everything. Trust Him first.


Please enjoy the poem below and, as always, feel free to comment, subscribe and meditate on the Lord.


The Great Plains Poet, a humble sinner.

God bless and enjoy the prose,


This Knot On My Shin

By Chris Taylor


Bruised, banged and gnarled on my shin

Is the evidence of lessons  I’ve taken in

I push, I bear down, I kick against the goads

And one more humble failure in the eyes of the Lord


My effort, my toil and my saving grace

The worry, the sweat and the energy I waste

Using a power that’s destined to fail

Trusting in knowledge that is certainly male


I will, I must; complete it on my own

Passing by the peace of His heavenly throne

Why, why, Oh why so fixed

And when did my trust become so mixed


A stumble, a fall, a scrape on my leg

Serving to knock me down one more peg

Perplexed, miffed and totally baffled

To count the wasted miles I’ve traveled


Oh Father, oh Lord and my lone salvation

Your love’s fragrant like a pure white carnation

Lord teach me to let go of  my strength from within

And learn the lesson from this knot on my shin

2 thoughts on “This Knot On My Shin

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