Anyway, I'm watching the best in the world do what they do (triple bow wows, quadruple bow ties, I know all the lingo!) and almost without exception at some point in their program, each one of them falls down. Now some of these guys have been doing what they're doing since a very young age, and I imagine they've done more triple toe loops than they can shake a stick at without falling down, but, ouch, there they go again. That's gotta hurt.
But here's what really amazes me about this, and I was talking to someone the other day while watching the pairs competition...yes, I watched the pairs skate as well...and we were talking about how amazing it is that after they fall down they don't just skate over to the side and sit down. I'm pretty sure that's what I would do. Think about how discouraging that is, how defeated you'd have to feel. But these guys get up off their frozen butts, and get right back into the program.
"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect; but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting that is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." That's what Paul says in Philippians 3:12-14. I think he must have been a figure skater.
Face it, we're going to fall a lot on this journey with Jesus. We're going to sometimes be on our butts (wow, I've said that twice now!) more often than we're on our feet at times. Lots of failures, lots of mistakes, lots of times wondering whether it's worth it to get back up. But Paul is telling us not to be defeated by those times. We don't have to despair because we've fallen, God doesn't reject us just because we're on our...well,, three times may be pushing it...backsides. It's all part of the process. It's part of growing, of becoming more like Jesus. Too often we allow the guilt of our failure to cripple us, to derail us. Paul says, "Let it go." Confess it, repent of it, recognize it for what it was, learn from it, and then put it behind you and press on to the finish line.
I imagine that when skater goes down, there's a big ole voice in his head saying, "Just stay here. Why get up again? You're just going to kiss ice again. Cut your losses and get out of the rink." Don't we hear a voice like that when we fail? The enemy wants us to give up, to deaden our hearts. But Paul reminds us that falling down is a normal part of this becoming like Jesus thing. It's part of the race. A song from a few years ago said, "we fall down but we get back up again." Put the past behind you, and set your eyes on the goal, the prize, an eternity of life with Jesus.
BTW, the Suns beat the Grizzlies.