I don’t really remember what the year was, but I remember the weather. It was a beautiful day. I was maybe 10 or 11 years old (we’ll just say 10)…
My life was lived on the street in front of my house. My best friend? My little, aluminum-body, blue-wheeled scooter. Once school was over, I would run home to get in some riding time before my parents would get home and make me do my homework.
Near our house was a large hill. Like huge. This hill was one of the biggest hills my ten-year-old eyes had ever seen. I LOVED it. I would ride down that thing, barreling down at the incredible speed of nearly 12 mph, the wind in my helmet, the pavement unrolling before me, and my little body perfectly balanced atop the only thing keeping me earthbound.
and then the unthinkable happens….
Maybe it had seen me before. I mean, I wasn’t a stranger to this particular hill. Maybe it was jealous that it could never experience the pure exhilaration that I was experiencing. This pebble, the bane of my the-year-old existence, motivated by jealously, had moved itself into my path.
At the speed I was going, there was no way that I could see it, and no way that I could have gotten out of the way in time if I had seen it. My translucent blue wheels, revolving as fast as they possibly could, collided with this malevolent stone…
And for the first time in my life I was flying…
I flew for what seemed like an eternity over what seemed like miles of pavement before, finally, I collided with the black, angry, sun-baked road.
To say that I cried would be an understatement. I shrieked.
My knees, hands, wrists, forearms and hips were on FIRE. Cuts, scrapes, bruises and embedded gravel adorned my sun-kissed skin while dirt and tears were my visage.
At that moment, I absolutely hated my life. I’m not a person who likes pain anyway, and I generally try to stay as far away from it as possible. But sometimes things just don’t go exactly the way that we want. I’d love to say that my tumble was the most pain that I’ve ever experienced (believe me), but that just wouldn’t be true. Things can hurt, and they can hurt BADLY. Something that is critically important when you take a tumble, is the simple act of getting back up.
When something takes us down, immediately we have two choices. We can accept in, or we can refuse it. When you accept the fall, you decide that the pain can stay. This is the easier decision in the short-term, but it is more costly in the long run. Staying down allows infection, stunted healing at best, and death, at worst. The longer something lies when it has been hurt, the smaller the chance that it will return to full functionality. According to the natural way of life, this is a conscious response made out of a spirit of defeat.
The other choice we have, obviously, is to get up. When you get up, you are deciding that you want to fix something more than you want to “feel okay for now”. This isn’t an easier decision, because the pain from forward motion screams at you to stop. But moving forward leads you to rid yourself of any infection before it sets in. This is the natural response, made out of a will to be vivacious. Those who get up are those that have decided they are worth fighting for, no matter the difficulty or the pain they may endure.
When you get up, you are able to face the situation, overcome the circumstances, address the things you need to set right and, finally, HEAL. Spiritually speaking, when you fall and you stay down, you open the door for bitterness, self-pity and fear into your life. If you stand up, you face these issues before they have a chance to gain strength. You can’t get back to “life as you knew it” without healing.
It’s not always easy to keep going, and it’s definitely not the most comfortable thing to do. Even as a child, I knew that it was going to be a long, agonizing walk back to my house. But I knew that once I got home, I would be able to clean and dress my wounds. I knew that once my sores were taken care of, my pain would go away, and I would eventually be okay, and able to ride that hill again. I knew that my wounds were only temporary, and I wouldn’t be living like this for the rest of my life.
I also knew that once my dad got home, I would be able to tell him the story, and he would give me a “Good job, buddy.”
To which I would grin.
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry “Abba! Father!” – Romans 8:15