Steps for Old Bones

Ever since I broke my hip five years ago, I’ve been careful to watch my steps (see my Blog Post from May 2015 – Everyday Things). It was no fun to hit the floor and be unable to stand up again. They say the ‘fear of falling’ contributes to many of these accidents, so I remind myself to trust the Lord to keep me upright. I’m so grateful for his guiding arm.

Today I’d like to tell you about the latest Culture Night at our church. Last Sunday we were privileged to learn some of the traditions and worship customs of the Philippines. There were songs, dances, food, an informative video about the nation – and a quiz to see how much of it we’d absorbed! Not a lot, on my part, but I did remember that there are over 230,000 people from the Philippines living in Australia. And, we had great fellowship; Filipinos are beautiful fun-loving people.

At the end of the evening, there was something I’d been eagerly anticipating: a Tinikling Dance performed by the young ones. They’re so clever. It’s amazing how they step between the moving bamboo sticks that are operated by a couple of people on the floor. I’m sure they must listen carefully to the background music. I noticed it was in 3/4 time and the click of the sticks would accentuate this for the dancers.

The traditional Tinikling Dance has gained popularity around the world, particularly in America. You can see YouTube videos of competitions, and the participants look so confident and carefree. I always love to watch them hopping and stepping over the sticks and coordinating with their partners in the routine that seems to come so easily. This time, once the dancers had finished, a few people from the congregation went up on the stage to have a go! We laughed at their wobbly efforts. A couple nearly fell, and had to retire sheepishly! But I can’t criticise them – I’d do worse!

I don’t know if the Filipino people often do the Tinikling Dance at home, or whether they’d practiced some new moves for our benefit, but I could see that they really enjoyed it. And so did we! I knew I’d never be able to get up there and join them; it was too complicated for me, and I thought my old bones mightn’t tolerate such harsh treatment!

That night, as I lay in bed, I thought about the whole dance routine and wondered how it operated. I should have asked the experts, but they were also in bed now, recovering from their exertions; those dances went for a long time. So I had to rely on my own guesswork. Did the music set the pace; were the steps pre-planned? Who followed who, and how did they know when to stop? I’m still wondering! But with my mind running along these paths, I soon recalled the scripture verse which says: 

      The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord  ~  Psalm 37: 23.

This is from one of King David’s psalms, written when he was an old man – with old bones! Although I’d often heard these words, it was fresh once again, especially in a modern version. A few questions still arose in my mind about their meaning, and I wasn’t sure I knew all the answers, but the next words were an encouragement for a lady with vintage femurs.

If they fall, they will not stay down because the Lord will help them up ~ Psalm 37: 24.

So I’m happy to watch, and content that I can still walk well. I know God is helping me every day.

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