Monday, March 26, 2012

Falling Down, Finding Help

I have been walking most mornings for over 25 years and never, not once have I fallen.
Today that changed.
 In a split second after tripping over a crumbling sidewalk, I stumbled, crumbled, and fell to the ground. Fortunately, I was able to descend slowly because of my unsuccessful effort to aright myself. As if in slow motion, I allowed my wobbling legs and flailing arms to land on a grassy spot allowing my palms to block the worst of the blow. In the back of my mind, I was also considering the consequences of rolling into the street. Now, that would not have been pretty.
To be honest, none of it was pretty.  My walking partner felt helpless. My neighbor, who was in his car, waiting to pull onto the street, watched and waited to see if I would get up. And thankfully, I did get up - a bit humiliated, but relieved even more. I told everyone watching that I was sorry they had to witness that early morning scene, but I was grateful they were there - just in case I could not get myself up. Falling down is something none of us desire to do.  And it is in the getting up that we feel tremendous gratitude and much relief when we realize we are not broken, bleeding, or bruised.
But this very theme is what we continue to spiritually ponder as we journey through this time of Lent, experiencing the descending path of Jesus, which is the glory that comes from God.   It is the contrast between the descending path where we have trouble with glory. We think of glory as grand, better, more powerful or successful. And God reveals his glory by Jesus becoming more and more despised, rejected and hunted. God reveals his glory by having Jesus go all the way to death on the cross. He did that for me. And you.
It is why we should not be afraid when we fall down....when our hearts are broken, or we are disappointed, or the morning walk does not turn out the way we thought it should for our own glory. A little soreness here and there can be a reminder of those falls, teaching us to watch out for those things that would trip us and cause us harm, and asking ourselves where in the midst of our falling down can we discern the loving presence of God.  He is there to help us stand.
So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! (1 Corinthians 10:12)