The other day I fell.
I didn’t trip, stumble, stagger, tumble, slip, teeter or lose my balance. I fell. Hard.
I lurched. I sprawled. I dropped faster than the proverbial hot potato. I was down for the count like a boxer who just took one to the chin and kisses the canvas of the boxing ring floor. And I can blame it on my computer.
Sitting in my family room on my day off, I needed to complete a work project, so I had brought my office laptop computer home with me. While working on that device, I also decided to fire up my personal laptop.
I happily bounced back and forth between typing my project on the business computer to checking Facebook updates, email and blog stats on my personal one. You see, I really am a bonafide multi-tasker. I believe it’s my middle name.
Ward, the work computer, indicated his battery was draining fast, so I plugged his cord into the electrical outlet. Of course, Penelope, the personal laptop, had to follow suit. And she was downright pesky about it. She kept beeping at me and then gave off a dire warning, so I located her adapter cord and plugged her in as well.
There they sat, Ward and Penny, side by side on the coffee table, recharging so they could further assist me, while I occupied the couch, crunching some numbers on a calculator. And then the phone rang – not my cell, the house phone in the kitchen.
One minute I stood up to rush to answer the phone, the next minute I slammed into the floor. Belly-flopped. Face planted in the carpet. Stunned and thinking, “What the heck just happened to me?”
I lifted my head, expecting to have a bloody nose because I smacked the floor face first that hard. Relieved to see no blood, I rolled over to take assessment of the rest of my body. That’s when I noticed one of the laptop cords was still twirled around my big toe (yeah, I never wear shoes in the house) and obviously was the culprit for taking me down.
I slowly worked my way into an upright position, thankfully realizing nothing was broken on me or the laptops. I vaguely remembered the odd sensation of lurching forward unable to catch myself, hitting my left hip on the edge of the coffee table and my right hip on the arm of the sofa on my way down to my crash landing on the floor.
I still can’t quite understand how Penelope and Ward managed to stay perfectly perched on the coffee table though, while I ended up sprawled on the carpet. I always accuse both computers of having minds of their own, and now I’m wondering if the two of them were in cahoots – you know, a conspiracy theory.
The day after my plummet, I definitely felt the damage – both hips bruised and even my stomach hurt from the impact. For a few days afterward, you could have nick-named me “Hop-a-Long,” as I ambled slowly especially while going up and down our staircase.
So why write about obviously being a klutz? I do so because it occurred to me, each time I winced from my bruises, that my fall describes what life is often like. One minute you’re breezing along like nobody’s business, taking care of business, and then boom!
You’re laid flat. Something knocks you for a loop. The rug gets pulled out from under you. You never saw it coming. Those hidden obstacles send you reeling and flying. That’s life. There’s not much we can do about that. Bad things happen. Falls occur. Things don’t turn out the way you expect.
But there is something we can do about the way we respond to the bumps and lumps, twists and turns, and belly-smackers and head-bangers on our way. Do we wallow while we’re down, drowning ourselves with misery and “woe is me” attitudes? Do we just give up saying, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!?” Or do we dust ourselves off, pick ourselves up, and move forward?
My middle daughter experienced her fair share of disappointments while she was still a college student. An injury sidelined her from her sport of choice, but instead of feeling sorry for herself, she simply moved on and attempted something different – running on the college cross country team.
Once during an important meet, she was closing in on the finish line, when splat – she fell! Those watching all gasped. She could have quit, she could have writhed on the ground weeping in despair. But she didn’t! She scrambled to her feet, planted a smile on her face, and finished the race bleeding knees and all. I’ve always admired her courage and guts in doing so.
I’d like to think she inherited her determination from her parents, but I attribute her tenacity and optimistic attitude to her faith in God. He helped her through the long haul. She’s learned to hold onto her faith in Jesus for dear life and when we fall, as we surely do, He offers His hand to lift us up.
The Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 3:12-14, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
My recent fall reminded me today in my Opportunity book, Chapter 7, Page 12, that even though life looks so very rosy right now at our house, falls will come. Obstacles will cause me to stumble; circumstances will happen beyond my control. But I must forget what’s behind and remember instead to press forward knowing that Jesus stands ever ready to help and guide me. Even though I will fall, He will always be there for me just as He always has been, arms outstretched ready to pick me up.
Deuteronomy 33:27 promises that to all of those who put their faith in Christ Jesus: “The eternal God is your refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms.”
What about you? Do you believe God’s everlasting arms are always underneath you? Won’t you join me today, right now, in thanking Him for always being within our reach?
“Underneath are the everlasting arms. What child of God was ever allowed to fall lower than God’s underneath?” ~ H. Gill