Tuesday, January 22, 2013

When You Fall

{Photo publish on web here}
When you fall, don’t get back up…so quickly.

Everyone has heard that common response to failure to “get back up” or to “keep trying”.  Perhaps you have even said those phrases to others in times of trial.  Behind the words are sincere intentions, of course.

Sometimes, however, I think the advice is more of a reaction than a thoughtful response concluded from reflection.

I am human.  Everyone reading this is a human.  Thus, we have all “fallen”, and we have all failed at a something at some point in our life.  It’s been drilled into our brains to get back up and to keep trying.  It is so ingrained in our response that, I fear, we miss a key aspect about life.

By no means should you stop trying and stop getting back up when you fall.

Yet, as a Catholic, I believe that everything happens for reason.

If we get up too quickly after a mistake, we could miss that reason God allowed us to fail.

During my college years and the years after, I failed many times.  I got back up again as quickly as I could; so fast that I didn’t even acknowledging that I fell.  I was so perplexed as to why I continued to make the same mistakes over and over.

My real failure was that I never learned what it meant to be “fallen”.  I never learned how to live with my “broken” self.  I was so concerned with being raised up that I forgot about being saved, and the One who was doing the saving.

When I looked at my life through the brokenness, things looked different.  I realized my great need to be saved.  I realized my intense need for God.

Now when I fall, I see a glimpse of the incredible love God has for me.  He doesn’t need me at all.  But I need Him more than anything else.  If I never fell, if I never felt broken, would I have ever realized the depth of His love?

You are not a failure if you are “fallen”.  Jesus Christ came to restore the broken, and to raise up the fallen.  If you do not acknowledge your brokenness or your need to be saved, how can you allow Him to save you?

Be okay with being broken.  Be okay with not being perfect.  It is only in those experiences that one can witness perfect Love.

By all means, never stop trying to get back up again.  Don’t delay coming back to God in the sacraments.  But also, do not despair when you fall.
Because we cannot be raised unless first we fall.

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