Confession: I have a tendency to trip and fall.
Yes, if anyone in my family is going to trip over a step or crack or stray rock, it’s usually me.
In fact, I did just that last weekend at a wedding. After the ceremony and pictures, I pushed open the heavy wooden door of a beautiful old chapel. I lifted my face to bask in the bright spring sunshine, the warm breeze, and the waft of blooming lilacs.
I wasn’t watching where I was going, and before I knew what was happening, I tripped down a lone stone step and landed on my hands and knees on the sidewalk. In my long, sleek dress. In front of the other wedding guests. With all my family trailing behind me and gasping (and giggling) at their mom having yet another mishap.
Of course, I scrambled up and tried to pretend I’d just gone down to draw in a deep breath of the sweet cut grass. (I don’t think anyone believed me!) And I tried to smile and ignore the stinging of my knees and the blood oozing down my legs.
But truthfully, my heart shriveled with embarrassment at my klutzy moment of falling flat on my face in front of so many well-dressed people, at such a formal occasion, among family I hadn’t seen in ages.
Not too many months ago, while I was out running in my neighborhood, I tripped over a crack in the sidewalk and landed on my knees. I hoped my friends thought I’d simply stopped to do a few stretches.
Believe it or not, the very same thing happened again weeks later, thankfully in a different neighborhood.
The worst fall in recent history was when I was hiking with my family in the UP of Michigan along the very rocky shores of Lake Huron. (Cringe. I’m sure you can see where this is leading!)
As dark storm clouds rolled in, my husband and I decided to speed up the hike by giving our then young twin daughters piggy back rides. Surprise, surprise, I tripped. But because I was using my hands to hold my daughter on my back, I had nothing to brace the fall.
I won’t go into the gory details, except to say that I landed on one of those very sharp rocks, gouged open a huge chunk of flesh on my knee, and had to walk quite a distance holding the flapping skin together until we could find help. Yes, that time I had to get quite a few stitches.
What has all the tripping and falling taught me?
To be more careful?
Well, obviously not . . . since I still seem to trip and fall at the worst possible moments. 🙂
But it has taught me a few lessons in humility.
I often struggle with the sin of pride. God knew he’d need a way to keep me from being too puffed up with myself. I think every so often he lets me trip just so I can remember that I’m not “all that.”
Sometimes I trip emotionally too. There are times when I get a bad book review, or fail to final in a contest, or my author ranking drops. Those are humbling moments that sting like a painful stumble to my knees.
Just like the physical falls keep a check on our pride, God can use the emotional stumbles to keep us from thinking we’re more than we really are, to spur us to try harder, and to encourage us to work for His glory and not our own.
So what about YOU? Have you had any embarrassing falls (or moments) lately? Please tell all! We’d love to
laugh commiserate with you!