Do you remember the feelings of frustration, determination, and excitement as you took your first steps?
Of course, you don’t. Well, more than likely you don’t remember that far back.
For those of us that don’t remember learning to walk, it’s good to remember that it was a bit of a bumpy and difficult process. God really knew what He was doing when He created babies to have a little extra junk in their trunk in order to support all the falls.
My nephew has been walking for about a month now. It has been awesome to see his legs become steadier and his falls become a tad less frequent. But he still trips, he still stumbles, and he still utilizes his built-in cushion quite a bit.
It is neat to see his confidence grow though. We have this game we play, I walk somewhere and he follows me, it’s simple and silly but it’s the most fun thing in the world to him.
I was watching him follow me down the hallway, and when he saw that I was watching, his smile grew, and he began to pick up speed. He was booking it! Faster and faster straight towards my open arms. It was at the exact moment that he was just barely still out of my reach that he suddenly swayed back and lost his balance. Normally this would not be a big deal but because of his access speed, he went down harder and faster than expected. His little legs went flying up in the air as he tumbled backward and all I could hear was the gut-punching sound of his head hitting the floor.
A half a second later, tears.
I scooped him up, grabbed an ice pack, and hugged him tightly.
After a few moments he calmed down, tears/snot was wiped away, and he snuggled into my arms. I thought, “ok, well that’s the end of that for now.”
But what happened next surprised and inspired me. He started to wiggle.
With a smile, he wiggled until I finally put him back down on the floor. The instant his feet touched the ground he was off again. He triumphantly power walked right past the spot he had fallen and continued to move undeterred and unafraid.
A few minutes later he fell again, but that beside the point.
The point is, he didn’t let a hard fall take him out of the game.
Too often in life, we let hard falls take us out of the game.
Life is messy and frustrating and hurtful. It is pretty much guaranteed that we will bump our head a time or two or hundred. But what really matters is how we respond to that bump.
Do we shrink away? Do we get angry? Do we blame others? Do we feel sorry for ourselves? Or do we trust in God to pick us back up and keep moving forward?
In the book of Philippians, Paul, who was knocked down plenty of times, by the way, talks about pressing on towards the ultimate and final goal.
“…I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Paul had been broken and beaten down time after time again, but he did not allow bumps on the head (or even his accomplishments for that matter) to keep him from straining towards the goal. He got back up and continued to be used by God. He got back up, kept his eye focused on Jesus, and shared the good news of God’s love.
When you bump your head don’t give up. Allow God to scoop you up. Keep moving forward. Keep straining forward to what lies ahead. Press on to the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16–18)