A year ago I built monkey bars for the boys. Carter, my oldest, could hardly wait to try them out. He nervously climbed up the ladder, grabbed the first bar, began reaching for the next one and suddenly realized he couldn’t hold on. He started kicking his feet, begging for someone to catch him. We kept telling him to calm down and relax his legs so they would hang straight under him so he could turn loose and fall without hurting himself.
When he finally let go, he did not fall gracefully; instead he landed on his arm and wanted to quit. I told him he wasn’t going to quit for the day until he could learn to stop being afraid of the fall. After several nervous episodes and less than graceful landings, he finally learned to extend his legs, relax and fall straight down, landing on his feet.
Navigating through life is a lot like those monkey bars. We are going to fall; but we can’t be afraid of falling. Falling is where we learn humility, experience weakness, and realize that we truly are in need of God and the other people he places in our lives. It’s the place where we become aware of our limits, put new safeguards in place, and experience the passageway of perseverance.
Falling is where you gain the definition for the rest of your life. Are you going to be defined by the fall? Or will you humble yourself, own your mistakes, get the needed help, and move forward?
Don’t be afraid of the fall; be afraid of letting the fall define the course of your life. Get up. Run the race. And try again. After a while, the falls will become less and less and soon, you will make it all the way across the monkey bars.
If your fall is bigger than you can handle alone, get help. Seek out an AA or NA meeting. Join Celebrate Recovery every Tuesday, 6:00pm at Fellowship Baptist Church. Find a counselor or support group. There can be victory on the other side.