All my life I have physically slipped and tripped so many times I think I've nearly perfected the art of falling.
My mother even sent me to Charm School!! What I remember at age 11 or 12 was going to the department store sponsored classes (Was it The Broadway?), getting a lot of cool, free Bonnie Belle cosmetics, picking out outfits upstairs for the fashion show and yes, I remember being taught how to walk properly on the runway.
Little good that did!!
Stumbling, losing balance, reeling backwards and sideways, running into doorjambs, and hitting my head on low ceilings, etc, etc. I have practiced these so often that they have become a dance-step, a hip-hop move, a gymnast's tumble and cheerleader's flip.
Family reinforced my malady every time I broke an heirloom plate or crystal glass. :(
Yesterday, while working an event, walking too fast, my heel skidded sideways about 24 inches, then righted itself, leaving a nice black tire track on the Pergo floors. "Oh! You Ok? .....That was a graceful recovery," a kind bystander reacted.
And there was the time I fell backwards off a 3 ft high stage while playing a 5/4 time jazz version of 'O Come All Ye Faithful' at a Christmas Eve service. Groovin' to the music, my heel missed the platform and I plunged backward. To the great surprise of the pastor sitting behind, I landed on my feet. Went right back on the stage, took a flamboyant bow and joined the band to finish the song. The worst part was trying to recover as if nothing had happened. Attempting to mask my mortification, I smiled weakly and kept playing the keyboard, freaking out inside.
It is so tempting to blame high heels, sticky soles, slick floors, narrow doorways, and low soffatts. My knee-jerk reaction is to make excuses, to find fault in exterior circumstances or make others the scape goat - instead of taking responsibility for being careless and negligent.
And so it is with our walk with Christ.
It's all about learning to gracefully recover from our failures, flaws, and faux pas. To own the error, bungling ways, humanness, and personal penchant for selfcenteredness.
It's getting back on the jumper horse after catapulting headlong into the turf. (Which I have done). It's shaking off debilitating shame when we have fallen for a familiar temptation. (Which I have also done ). It's allowing the grace of God to get us up again...
Do we fall on our faces and just stay there? Do we allow shame and hopelessness to keep us paralyzed in our spiritual journey? To keep us enslaved to sin?
What if ,when we fall, we fall at the foot of the Cross .....allowing mercy to raise us up again?
What if, while we are laying there injured from the crash, we get on our knees and confess, find healing and the will to stand?
Of course, we should never take the grace of God for granted and premeditate rebelling knowing He forgives. Although He restores and rehabilitates, consequences remain. A hard fall always leaves a mark; a scar we wear all our lives.
That, I believe is perfecting the art of falling; a necessary discipline in walking with Jesus.
Took the slippery slope
Displaced trust and hope
Empty promises abound
Still in spite of it all
Mercy caught my fall
Before I ever hit the ground
When I fall
I'm falling at Your cross
Perfecting the art of falling
I'm falling on my knees
Perfecting the art of falling
Fall at the feet