Sunday, January 9, 2011

Getting Up

“By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s fury, for he persevered as if seeing the one who is invisible.” Hebrews 11: 27

Have you ever been knocked down and felt like you couldn’t get up? Perhaps it was during a sporting event, or in an accident. But what about emotionally, mentally or even spiritually? I think all of us have times when we sin, when life gets too hard, when someone dies, when someone betrays us, when the rug is pulled out from underneath our little world and we feel like we are falling, falling, falling into a dark abyss and when we hit rock bottom, we are not sure which way is up nor how we could ever claw our way back to the top. And of course, this is exactly where Satan wants us to be. Because it is down in this pit, this hole, this darkness of our souls and minds, that he makes his camp and begins to whisper his twisted poison into our hearts—a poison that threatens to steal our hope.

So how can we get up from this?

Today I was watching my one-year old walking around the narthex at Church during Mass. He has just begun walking and he is very unsteady. I would put him down on his feet, he would steady himself, take a few steps and fall. Then he would smile again, push himself up on his feet and take a few more steps—and fall again. Then he would laugh, get up and take a few more steps—and…you guessed it—he’d fall again. This was the pattern for about 20 minutes. But the key is not how many times he fell, but that he always got back up. And he seemed to relish the challenge, rather than get frustrated by it.

Jesus fell too you know. Scripture and Tradition tell us that He fell three times on his way to Calvary carrying the cross. And you can imagine how difficult it must have been to walk that road. He could barely see, His face was swollen and blood and sweat were clouding His vision. He had lost a lot of blood during the scourging and the cross weighed hundreds of pounds. And don’t forget His prize for finishing the walk was to stripped and crucified. It’s a miracle He made it to the top really. It’s no wonder He fell. But no matter how many times He fell, He got back up. I once heard a priest say that the difference between a Saint and a sinner is that a Saint gets up one more time then they fall.

We can imitate Jesus by getting up. When we sin, go to confession as soon as possible. When someone hurts us, forgive them. When we find ourselves suffering, give to someone suffering more than you. Like Jesus, we need to try to stop thinking of ourselves and get up by thinking about others. This does not mean we cannot grieve or be in pain, but it means we push through it and get up by keeping Him close and not pushing Him away. And it means letting others help us, like Simon helped Jesus. We all fall, but when we do, let’s get back up right away so that we do not leave enough time for Satan to keep us down in despair.

Dear Jesus, please help me to get up right away whenever I fall. Send me others who will help me walk this journey of Faith. Through Your grace, may I stay close to You. Amen.

1 comment: