Thursday, June 26, 2014

My Fear of Falling

I'm on a roll this week.

First I wrote about what is wrong with modern Christian bookstores.

And then I wrote about why I refuse to feel guilty about the origins of my food.

Today I am writing about falling.

(I promise, tomorrow will just be a recipe.)

I've noticed another worrying trend in our world today-that of being afraid to fall.

Not fail. Fall.

When I was a young wart hog girl, summer was not summer until I had colossally scraped not one, but both, of my knees. I'd sport half dollar sized (or bigger) ugly scabs. It was from playing and running and riding a bike and being a kid and falling.

I can count on one hand the number of times my 4 kids combined have had scraped knees.

This is a tragedy.

They are missing out on an authentic childhood experience.

Don't worry, I have no plans to push and shove my kids so they get scraped knees.

I thought about this falling thing recently in light of my new bike pedals and clip in shoes. Everyone warns you about falling. You hear horror stories of scrapes. And bruised egos.

I was petrified. But, guess what? I've fallen 3 times. (I know, I like to make sure I to do things thoroughly. And I'm also a slow learner. What can I say?) I scraped my knee and the palm of my hand. I definitely bruised my ego. But, I survived. I didn't die. I didn't even wipe out. I just toppled over at a stop.

It wasn't a big deal. It hurt, but not awfully.

You pick yourself up. Dust yourself off. And start all over again. (thanks, Natalie Cole)

LC is learning to ride a bike without training wheels. She is scared of falling too. I get it. I know it hurts to fall. But, I also know that she will survive, and soon she will be scooting around on her bike, wondering what all the fuss was about.

Our fear of falling has permeated our whole world view and life experiences. It is now considered idiotic to ride your bike without a helmet. (I wonder how my generation ever survived.) Kids don't run and jump, climb trees or do tricks on parallel bars. We protect our kids within an inch of their lives.

Because they might fall. They might break a bone. They might scrape their knee. They might get hurt.

Falling and dying-that is an issue. Falling and getting hurt-that is life.

We fall physically, and we fall figuratively. We fall in love and fall from grace. We fall into sin and we fall apart.

Nelson Mandela said, “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” 

David said, "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down, for the Lord upholds him with His hand." (Psalm 37:23, 24)

That's my favorite verse in the Bible. You might say it's my life verse.  

I do fall. I fall colossally. I make huge mistakes. I sin. I shake my head and cry over the awfulness of my words and actions. I've fallen in love and experienced the poignant joys and hurts that come with that particular brand of falling. 

We fall because we take risks. We fall because we are fallible. We fall because we live. We fall because we are moving.

God picks us up-


It is impossible to live perfect Christian lives. It is impossible to continue on without falling. We hurt ourselves and others. We hurt our prospects and relationships.

But, we shouldn't throw in the towel or give up. We don't have to wallow.

We confess our sins, and we look to the Lord to pick us back up. He does. With His grace. With His right hand.

The Lord upholds all that fall, and raises up all those that be bowed down. (Psalm 145:14)

A just man falls 7 times and rises up again. (Proverbs 24:16)

Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. (John12:24)

Falling isn't necessarily ideal, but it doesn't have to be catastrophic either.

Now to Him who is able to keep you from falling and present your faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy. (Jude 24)

God is able to keep us from falling when and where He doesn't want us to fall. He also is more than capable of lifting up and restoring us when we do fall.

Are you afraid of falling? Are you more afraid of never falling?