Several weeks ago I took a nasty fall while walking along a sidewalk at a busy Nairobi office. I tore the sleeve of my blouse, caked dirt into my handbag, and had two bleeding sidewalk burns (knee and elbow). The embarrassment hurt more than all those put together. I tried to stand up quickly, told everyone that I was “just fine”, and kept walking. But the truth is that I nursed those wounds and needed back rubs for more than a week after.
Today, I saw a young girl — maybe 4 years old — take a fall that was just as bad while running down a hill at church. But she hardly missed a beat. After just a few seconds she was up and running again. “Quite impressive,” I thought.
A physical fall might not be that consequential. But what about when we “fall” in other ways? When we make a fool of ourselves, or just make a mess. Are we able to get up quickly? Children don’t worry too much about making mistakes, actually. They are much better at “getting over it” than we are.
I asked Google for quotations about failure, and found several good ones:
“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” Michael Jordan
“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” Winston Churchill
Yeah, good quotes. But as good as they sound, I must admit that I don’t like to make mistakes or mess up. I don’t recover from the negative feelings very easily. And as much as failure is supposed to be good for us. . . I don’t like it! That is probably due to pride. Sigh.
God’s Word says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” That is definitely a forget-and-move-on approach. Hopefully, like a child, I can forgive myself as readily as Christ forgives, not take myself too seriously, and move on.