I love living in Florida, one reason is that I can ride my bike all year long. I was taking a long ride yesterday, one that has some elevation (a causeway over the Banana River) so I can get a little more of a workout. As I was approaching the causeway there is a spot where I go down hill on a grassy area onto a parking lot. I have done this many times, and as I was zipping along at a brisk 15 MPH or so, I saw a tuft of grass in front of me. I figured I would have a little bump, but just as I got to the grass I saw that it was hiding one of those 8″ high cement bumpers.
Ooops- forgot about those being there.
Well, I pulled up hard on the handlebars and tried to jump it, and even though I got the front wheel over, the back didn’t make it and bumpity-bumpity-bump: I lost control to a large degree, but remarkably, even though the bike took a spill, I didn’t. I managed to walk right over the bike as it went down and maintained my balance.
Any landing you can walk away from is a good one, right?
I did get a nasty bump on one leg from the pedal and some scrapes on the other ankle, but for the most part I escaped unbroken and (mostly) undamaged. I picked up the bike, straightened the fenders and went back on my way.
So, nu? What’s this got to do with God? A lot.
We often read about how the gold must go through the fire to be refined, and Yeshua warns His Talmudim (disciples) that following Him will be like picking up one’s execution stake every day. We read about David’s trials while living as a bandit, in the caves and hills, trying to escape Shaul haMelech (King Saul), and we are preached to, over and over (like now) about having to run the good race and keep our eyes on the prize.
In other words, when you fall, get up. We all know that lesson, right? So what’s different with what happened to me?
What was different is that although I fell, and got back up, I didn’t get as hurt as I have in previous falls because having fallen many times I know what to do. I knew what was coming. I was able to act so that my reaction allowed me to fall gracefully and maintain my balance. And, yes, after I fell I thanked God for the fact I wasn’t too damaged, then I got back on the bike and continued my journey.
We will all fall at some point on our walk with the Lord. In fact, we should be falling. I found this saying on the Internet, and it helps to make my point:
Ski instructors are taught that if their students aren’t falling at least once per run they are not learning new, improved form.
We need to fall, we need to go through the fire, and we need to know that the more we fall, the better we fall, the less likely we will get damaged, and the faster we can recover. That’s the lesson for today: don’t be afraid of falling; instead, learn how to fall.
When I was studying Judo we learned how to fall so that we would minimize the pain and the damage, and in our walk with the Lord we need to learn how to fall with grace and compassion (for ourselves), then to get up and keep on keepin’ on. Walking with God is hard, and you will have many roadblocks and falls, but you’ve got to keep on truckin’, Baby!
Falling can hurt, and if you let falling slow you down or make you quit, you will be a loser in the most important race of your life, no…make that the most important race of your eternity! Expect to fall, learn how to fall in control, and when you do you will fall with less damage and you will be able to get back up on your feet faster.
Don’t worry about taking a tumble or two, it’s only going to make you stronger. And take comfort in knowing that God is always there to help you back up on your feet.