Brace yourself. This might end up being a long read. And a rambling one at that. ☺ 😂
Rarely will you find anyone who escaped great danger sober. It is an excitement very few people can pass up and desire to give up. Understand me:
I am a fan of extreme sports. God forbid that I do them myself. No way. But I love to watch them. You should see stunt bikes in action. Motocross, dirt riding, mountain races, freestyle… Name it!
The basic idea behind pulling stunts is essentially a test of how close you can get to the danger without getting in danger. It feeds excitement, to see how close you were to a totally cataclysmic event, yet you scaled through. It draws applause.
Rarely have I seen anyone get off a stunt bike after an atrociously dangerous leap and quit. “Oh that was too close. I’m done!”
They don’t do that. They get off, looking for the next big challenge on how to get closer to death and get away alive. It is exciting, and the adrenaline surge is exhilarating.
Obviously, that’s why they call it extreme sports. So even though I may try some daring trick in the future, like skydiving or windsurfing, I think I still have my head in the right place. No amount of excitement will drive me to consistent extremes.
I don’t really want to die just yet. I mean, it makes sense to live a safe life, especially when you know you achieve more without unnecessary exposure to danger.
I love that part in the movie Fireproof where the fireman was nearly crushed by a train, while trying to get a car off the tracks to save the teenage passengers who had crashed. He told his captain that he had broken his record of how close he could get to death and still live. His captain told him not to try to break it next time.
“I wasn’t trying to break it this time”, he replied.
👆 That’s me, right up there. As much as I get excited taking risks, I don’t think I like the idea of putting my life in danger, consciously. Lailai.
Today, most of us play extreme sports with our lives, and our walk with Christ. We like to stretch, to see how far we can go into various dangerous depths without falling into the abyss, or how close we can get to indiscretions without being indiscreet.
We feel good when we get away with it. But I really believe those who are better off at the end are those who fall from getting too close; people like yours truly.
You see, there’s a tendency for pride when you are able to navigate knotty situations with consummate ease. You were close, but you didn’t fall. You get happy with the fact that you have strength to not fall. And you begin to take confidence in yourself as something to grasp hold of. It’s a deceitful turn, making you believe you’re perfectly in control.
When you fall however, there’s a jarring recall to the reality of the weakness you so easily enjoyed.
Getting close to danger is not exactly a smart choice in our Christian walk. I mean, it makes perfect sense to get close to a fire when you’re cold. But why make it a sport, to see how close your hand can get close to the fire without getting burnt? Would that not be termed foolishness?
But that is what we most often do. We take the liberties to test out our strength. Sometimes this is conscious, but often, it is not. It can often be a result of self-confident carelessness, a lack of thought, and brazen presumption in the rightness of our actions. This is especially since when God gives us a very special opportunity and we run wild, believing nothing can go wrong simply because God brought it forth, and is “in it”.
The results are still the same. But why do I say it is better to fall from such a risk than to get away with it?
As Christians, I believe that God does not desire for us to stray from the path. There’s a hardening of the heart that comes from not falling. Falling, however, is an opportunity. A great one, in fact.
We may be hurt and in pain, wound open and terribly sore. However, we are brought back to our senses. We get the opportunity to look deep down, and with introspection, examine our faults. The darkness exposed offers another opportunity to witness, first hand, how much of light we still need to bear on this journey of faith. Then we can chase out darkness.
It is a period of mourning, and of returning to the source of strength. Like Jeremiah, there is truly no doubt that places of darkness help us realise the value of light. For those who pick the lessons well, it is a time where desires are reignited and re-branded. It’s a bittersweet experience.
Does that now mean everything God has provided is not for us to enjoy? That’s not my point. All of life is at our disposal, because God owns it all and we are his children. But he has called us all to different things at different times.
Often, because God made a gift available, we fail to learn properly how he would like us to use it. So we get behind the wheels of the brand new Navigator, and drive it. We crash, because we don’t have a license, or we haven’t learned to drive. At other times, the terrain is unfavourable. Or you just got onto the road at the same time lunatics were driving.
The experience is never good. There’s nothing annoying like a battered car, particularly when you were not patient to learn the ropes. But that does not subtract from its usefulness. But it’s only wise to take a step back and learn properly how to handle the gift.
Even though there’s always wisdom available before the need arises, failure to heed and apply wisdom is not necessarily the end. It just is a way for God to get back our attention.
Believe it or not, I think that our failings and falls, as bad and unwanted as they may be, are real ways God shows his love for us. If we are willing and obedient to learn the lessons, we are able to rise with healing, becoming better person’s from the experience. It is a great opportunity.
Falling may be unnecessary, but it is blessed to fall than to stand strong in error. A fall, right now, is always far better than to be found wanting in the end, because those who really think they are standing at this point, for lack of a “fall”, are those who have truly fallen.
And I hope you will join me in being grateful, in pain 😂, for the tines we have missed the mark, and God counted us worthy of a jolting fall to expose the darkness and inexperience of our hearts.
It is indeed true that though the righteous fall seven times, he will rise up. Every single time.
Falling should not be a habit. But when it happens, you get why dirt isn’t nice, and you get back to the place of cleanliness and purity. Only this time, you value it all just a little bit more than the last.