HELP, I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up!

There’s a certain family member very, very close to me that - I leave out the name to protect the innocent  ;-) - I tease how one day I’ll hear her say this and I’ll have to come to her rescue.  Of course, not once do I ever think it’ll be true of me.

That’s where this verse comes into play:  Proverbs 16:18 - “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”  

That’s exactly what happened a couple weeks ago.  My “pride” caused me to “fall” and I had to say those dreaded words — I can’t get up.

I was outside with my grandsons at their house. My oldest grandson is 11 and the youngest is 6.  For whatever reason, we got running which led into a race.  I had no doubt that I would be able to outrun them.  I’m in “good” shape.  I ride my 12 speed bike several days a week on my Indoor Bike Trainer Exercise Stand … thingy.  I’ll show them what a 63 year old young guy can do.

I was holding my own when the oldest was starting to pull ahead.  Not too much mind you.  I still had some “reserve” left.  I’ll just kick it into high gear and dazzle both of them with my lightning speed.  So just at the right moment when I decided to overtake him and pull ahead, I pushed it into turbo and … I immediately felt something let go in the back of my right leg and … down I went.  Couldn’t believe it.  

So, there I lay on the ground in excruciating pain.  I’m in the dirt, almost face down.  Embarrassed;  hurting;  feeling … OLD.  I accomplished the exact opposite of what I set out to do:  IMPRESS them with my physical ability — and, convince myself that “I’m still a young thing.”

No big deal.  I’ll just get up, wipe myself off, and … lie about what had just happened.  You know:  “I could have beaten you if you hadn’t tripped me”, sort of thing.  Gotta save face somehow.  (For those wondering, no, I wouldn’t have said that.)  It was too obvious to get out of it that easily.

But — I couldn’t get up.  The dreaded moment had arrived.  This wasn’t supposed to be happening to me.  I’m not supposed to be the first one to have to say IT.  It’s supposed to be that other person.  

I had to tell my grandsons “I CAN’T GET UP.”  I asked them to get my two sons so they could help me up.  (Is this really happening?) They came and graciously helped me up — without any humiliating comments, thankfully.  I felt dumb enough as it was.

With their help, I was able to get to my feet and stand.  Could I walk?  First step.  Wow, that hurts, but I’m moving.  I’m mobile.  Maybe all that exercising has paid off.  I hobble around a little more just to make sure I truly can walk and nothing is torn.  Ok, good to go.

What verse came to mind after it all was over?  Proverbs 16:18 — “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a FALL.”

I love that God knows how to keep us in our place.  Maybe He touched the back of my leg like  in Genesis  32:24-25 when “Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him.”  That moment left a lasting impact upon his life that wasn’t soon (if ever) forgotten.

Perhaps God “touches” us at certain times and in certain ways to let us know who’s in charge of our very existence.  To remind us how dependent we really are upon Him.  To focus less on our own strength in exchange for His strength.  To realize we can’t even get up on our own when He wants us down.

Hopefully, this has been a lesson learned.  Yes, I know.  It won’t be the last time I’ll need to be taken to the mat, so to speak.  But maybe, just maybe, next time I won’t hit the ground so hard.