Falling Gracefully

    Have you ever been walking and all of the sudden, for reasons you can’t explain, the things that used to be your feet and kept you moving forward have turned into something that has made a new plan behind your back? They turn into  a tangled knot of appendages and you go face first into the ground.

    There was absolutely no way you would have done that on purpose. It was like your body had a mutiny against your brain.

   Possibly it was your brain that did it to your body. It got tired of it being easy and thought it would change things up a bit to see what would happen. It just didn’t go as planned and it(brain) sent the body into the ground. 

    I’m not a scientist or biologist or psychologist or any other gist. I’m just a man and I am one who has fallen many times.

What makes me fall?

     I have fallen in all kinds of ways over all kinds of things. I have tripped over my own feet, tripped over rocks, over stumps, had the thing I was standing on give way, slid off things, fell under things, fell on things, rolled into things, rolled over things, fell in water, fell on dirt, fell on pavement, slid on cement, slid on leaves, slipped on mud, slipped on ice, etc, etc.

   If it can happen it probably has happened. I am very lucky that I never got seriously injured in those falls: God watches over fools and drunks and I’m not really a drinker. A beer every so often doesn’t count as me getting drunk or being a heavy drinker so I can’t blame it on that. 

    Was I foolish? Certainly, have been at times, probably will seem that way again. I make mistakes, I am not perfect, and I never will be. Not one person walking this Earth will EVER be perfect. The only person that Ever was, has come and gone and we, as Christians, are all waiting on His return. 

     Till then I will most definitely make mistakes and probably fall from time to time.

    After each of those times a question sprang to my mind: What happened?

    I know what happened, the real question should have been How did that happen? Or how did I not see that?

   At one point I decided the only logical answer was GRAVITY.

    Every single time I fell, it could be traced back to gravity.

GRAVITY - the force that attracts a body toward the center of the earth.

   It made perfect sense. Gravity wanted to pull me toward the center of the Earth. It was what was making me fall. 

  At first, I felt flattered by it. Gravity loves me so much it keeps trying to pull into the center of the Earth to be closer to me. It just didn’t know that I was being bruised and battered in the process. My marks were just love taps from gravity. I am so lucky to be so loved by a force of nature.

   After the adrenaline wore off this idea quickly fled and reality set in. Gravity does NOT love me. It is constantly working against me. All the times I fell I felt like it was gravity’s little joke. “Watch what I can make this guy do. He thinks he’s fine and nothing will happen. Just wait. Then WHAM!” That’s kind of how I thought gravity was working in my life. It had a vendetta against me for some unknown reason and wasn’t going to let up. It wouldn’t even tell me what I had done. 

    After a while I just kind of accepted it. “I might be able to do it, unless gravity is watching. Then I won’t” People gave me some weird looks. I had rationalized that gravity was truly working against me. They should have looked at me funny. I probably sounded like the guy who thinks lightning is out to get him.

    I looked into the lightning striking people phenomenon to see if forces of nature really do have something against some people.

 A lot of people think the people most likely to get struck by it are the ones most afraid of getting struck by it. Where do these people get information like this? All I could tell from what I found was that they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Some of them even knew they were in danger of getting struck because of WHERE they were not because of how afraid of it they were. Most people I read about said they had no idea they were about to get struck until it happened. You can’t be afraid of what you don’t know is going to happen and nobody knows the future. I guess it got rationalized by some people like I had rationalized gravity. People can come up with a lot of interesting ways to look at things, most are usually imaginary or ways to avoid a bruised ego.

    Eventually I grew up and realized I had been wrong. Gravity was not my enemy it was just part of the world that God created and had a purpose too. If gravity didn’t exist, we would all go floating off into space. I had to swallow my pride and take a look in the mirror about what made me fall. Time for a self-assessment.

The Bruised Ego

    After a tumultuous time of trying to find another reason, I had fallen all those times I only had one real answer: It was me. I had caused myself to fall. 

   I could blame it on a lot of other things or people but at the heart of it I had done all by myself. Usually. There were a few instances that had actually been the work of someone else and it had been done on purpose. That’s on them not me. 

   I either wasn’t looking or was looking at the wrong things. I was looking up instead of where my feet were going. I have no idea what I was looking at or thinking about when I tripped on my own feet. This one really got me into a stupor.

    I’ve been walking as long as I can remember. How do my own feet get in the way. I can’t blame it on anyone else. I can’t even blame gravity. How do I do this?

   Why do I still bite my tongue after I have been eating my whole life too?

   Why do I put something too hot for my hand in my mouth?

   Why do spider webs give me the heebee jeebees? Because I know it’s on me somewhere. LOLOLOLO

 Self-examination can be Interesting to say the least.

   After taking note of the things, I can’t explain about myself I was left speechless. It’s amazing I can get through life in one piece, but I do. These aren’t the things I do wrong, these are the things I have no control over. If you throw in all the times, I’m just wrong it gets even worse. I’m smart enough to know better but I can’t help failing sometimes or just doing it wrong when I know how to do it right.

    I learned this from fishing. When I get a big one beside the boat, I sometimes lose them because I forget to net them. I get excited and just try to sling it in and the only thing I bring in is my hook. Then I stood there wondering why I did it again. Yes, again. I also know I will do it again in the future. When I least expect it, I will make a mistake or fall or something else.

   I know I won't ever be perfect so why do I beat myself up over things I can’t stop. I know I’m not the only person like this either, I might be the only one admitting to most of it, but everybody messes up sometimes.

   I have found that laughter works well to restore my bruised ego. If we can’t laugh at ourselves, who can we laugh at? I’m not saying every mistake is funny but some of them are. All those little things we do that we can’t control or seem to completely rid ourselves of might just be God’s way of saying “You have been doing well, for an imperfect creature, here’s a little reminder so you don’t get too full of yourself.” He works in mysterious ways that I usually don’t understand till well after the lesson is over. That’s one of the many things I need to improve on as well. The list of things I am working on is a lengthy read.

Getting up

    At one point in my wrong way of looking at falling I decided it would be beneficial if I learned how to fall instead of learning not to. I learned how to roll, do dive rolls, back rolls, and kip, which is a roll, but you do most of it in the air and land on your side. I thought I was fall proof. 

   Then I fell again and none of the rolls had any effect at all. It was another bad idea or wrong road. Learning to fall was not the answer. 

    I also had a really cool idea about moon gravity. If we had moon gravity, we would never fall. Just think about all the things you wouldn’t have broken because you dropped it. They would all just have floated safely down to the ground, and we could do the same thing. It would be amazing. I know it’s not possible to do that to the whole world, but one little island would be nice. A moon gravity island resort. It seems like with all our technology we could do something like that. Then I found out science doesn’t really understand how gravity works so they can’t really make anti-gravity anything yet. 

    Science, what are they really up to?

That’s another encyclopedia set. One I will not be working on. Fixing the world gives me a headache. I don’t think I’m qualified for that job anyway; I still trip over my own feet and bite my tongue. I have A LOT of work on me to do before I could go trying to fix the world. I am at present a work in progress and don’t see a time when I am not. I learn as I go and try to be better every day. Somedays I succeed at it, some I don’t. I’m just a man and God reminds me of it all the time. Like falling.

 I did realize one thing in the self-examination: I always got back up and kept going. I probably wouldn’t be here if I didn’t. Somewhere in me was something that said get up and keep trying. It would have been nice if that little voice had said “Hey, watch out for that.” but that’s not how it works. I don’t really have a little voice that says anything. It’s just me. Which is how I came to the conclusion falling was all on me.

    I know God has a plan at work and there are reasons for everything that happens and I’m sure I fall and all the other little things I can’t seem to keep from doing are part of it. It might be His way of keeping me humble, He might be teaching to keep trying, He might want me to know I will never be perfect. I have learned that He is always working on us.

    I have no idea where the path God has me on will lead and I’m glad I don’t. Knowing what will happen would make life boring. It would take away Hope, and Faith, and Miracles, and Joy, and all the other good things He has given us. If falling occasionally and biting my tongue sometimes means I get to have all His other gifts, then I am and will continue to be grateful for them. I still think it's amazing that He cares so much about the imperfect creatures we are. Everything else He created, the world, the Heavens, all creatures great and small all work according to a Grand Design. Then there’s us.

   That’s one of the most amazing miracles I know of: That God loves us not for the perfect creations we might be one day but as the imperfect creations we are right now. That's love.

Will I fall again?

   I have no doubt the day is coming when I fall flat on my face again, or out of the boat trying to land a fish that is bigger in my mind than the one one my hook, or slip on ice, or some other battle for supremacy with gravity. IT WILL HAPPEN! I know it’s coming.

   Is it going to change the way I do things? Nope. Is it going to make me fearful of it? NOPE! Am I going to be more cautious? I try to be. I just don’t always have my eyes fixed on what I should be looking at. The “probably won't but could happens” will happen. If I’m lucky I will have learned enough from my previous failures to know how to handle them too. 

     That’s what life is really, learning to live in spite of the things that don’t go as planned. It is happening according to A plan; it just isn’t as much our plan as it is God’s plan. I try to keep to His plan but being the imperfect creation, I am I sometimes get it wrong and wander off the path. Then I fall. Then I get up and get back on track. I wish it was easier but it’s not. I Wish We had moon gravity, but we don’t. I wish I knew why I still bit my tongue sometimes. I guess it’s just to keep us humble or part of the bigger plan. We’ll understand it one day. Till then I will keep trying and live knowing sometimes I will fall. Then I’ll get up . . .Again. For as long as it takes me to get to where I am supposed to be in His plan. I like surprises.

Live by Faith. Love the Outdoors. Life is Out HERE!

written by Benjamin Evans