03 Jan, 2018

We All Fall Down

03 Jan, 2018
life together low res

We All Fall Down

by Timothy J. Mooney

The Word in Scripture

…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23

…for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.  2 Corinthians 12:10

Reflection

On New Year’s Day I sat in the early afternoon sun on the deck of the Outlook Grill at Breckenridge Ski Resort. It felt so good to feel the heat after a cold morning of skiing. I finished my beer and headed inside to return the glass to the bar. But as I stepped through the door, the edge of my ski boot wedged itself underneath a piece of metal in the doorframe and I found myself flat on my face on the floor with a loud thud! I had brief hopes that no one noticed. But all heads turned, and the look on the faces of two teenage women closest to me said it all: “It’s not that hard to go through a door! Old man! He’s drunk!” And then I heard myself think: “Can’t you go through a door?? Old man! I’m not drunk, and you should have seen me carving turns on that double black diamond run an hour ago! So there!!”

It’s amazing what went through my mind in a nanosecond.

But as I popped back up as quickly as I went down, I suddenly found a freedom that was so different from the imagined reactions of others and my own defensive reactions. It was simply, “Yes I fell down, and I got back up.” And I found myself saying aloud, as I raised my empty and unbroken beer glass, “Happy New Year to me!” A ripple of smiles went through the crowd. Then it hit me. Before bed I had read my New Years resolutions for 2017 written a year ago to the day, and I had fallen down on a good number of them. I poured a fair amount of criticism and judgment on myself. But rising from my fall in front of the whole world was a simple invitation to me: “Get up again; when you are weak you are strong; when things are falling apart they just might be falling together.” Accepting that I fell, and will fall again, made the getting up so much easier.

We fall down, but we get up.
We fall down, but we get up.
We fall down, but we get up.
For a saint is just a sinner who fell down and got up. (We Fall Down, by Donny McClurken)

Prayer

God, show us the wisdom in our failings, the light that emerges when our defensive shells crack open, and make us at home in our humanness, that we might know your divine life working deeply in us. Amen.

Intention

This week notice where you feel you have fallen down, and the judgments that accompany the failings. What do you learn? What would it mean to get back up again? How might you turn a falling down into a “Happy New Year to me!”?

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