Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Falling Down and Getting Back Up

I remember hearing Rich DeVos say one time that someone asked him if he was ever "down". He said, "of course, I just don't like being there. So I've learned to get back up quickly."

I'm thankful for grace, for having grown up in a place that encourages and in fact applauds an understanding of forgiveness. It's not a natural phenomenan by any means. Something very foreign if not almost anti-cultural in many eastern cultures. And I'm sure that even in the west we may claim to understand it but may invest a lifetime learning to truly forgive and receive grace, as God intended it should be experienced and given.

I also remember when I first tried skiing, recognizing how essential it was to learn to get up. Falling is a given. Without the ability to easily get up, feeling somewhat spastic at the beginning, extended legs and arms flailing everywhere on a slippery sloping surface, one can at best hope to just slide down the hill on one's rump and take the rest of the day to nurse a wet body, freezing nerves and aching muscles. But getting up successfully lets one try again, and keep on trying, until the joy of coming down the hill, under control, clean crisp air, white and blue surroundings, beautiful mountain views changing every moment takes over and the rewards of having humbly repeated process of falling and struggling to get up again reign in one's experience and memory.

So whether it's mental, such as lack of a desired discipline (in this case writing every day) or emotional (absence of self control in relationships), physical (repeatedly doing the wrong thing to one's body), spiritual (such as ignoring God's call in an area that requires some sacrifice) or whatever area, falling down is part of the journey. Getting up, with an attitude of forgiveness towards self, of recognizing it is God's grace that sustains us no matter whether we do what we believe is right or wrong, is just as important as staying up.

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