Every time I head out on my regular 3km run around my neighbourhood I come across a section of footpath that causes me to be a little extra wary. I am slightly more anxious when I approach it, and I visibly relax as I stride past without further incident. You see, this is the place where I fell down.
It was only 6 months after we had moved into town and I was still getting used to our new surroundings. I was happy with the circuit I was using as my regular running route as it was well lit, and very flat. As I was happily coasting along, all of a sudden I stumbled, and then in a kind of slow-motion, I started to fall.
I could see the ground coming towards me and there was little I could do to stop it. I felt my hand and then my knee hit the path and somehow I found myself lying on my back on the footpath staring up at the morning sky.
Then the pain hit, mostly physical but also the emotional pain of embarrassment. Had anyone else seen this stumble and fall? I will confess, there was a part of me that just wanted to stay put and lie there for an extended period of time, but I knew I needed to get up and make my way home.
I didn’t notice that there was any significant physical damage so I continued on my course home. It was only when I arrived and relayed my tragic tale to my husband did I notice that there was a hole in the knee of my favourite running pants. I then discovered that underneath this hole was a fairly large wound. It was bloody and swollen, and it stung terribly when I showered. It took quite a number of weeks for my knee to fully heal, and even now I still have a shadow of a scar.
I am proud of the fact that despite falling I got up and finished my run but I now recognise I am a changed person as a result of this fall. I am more cautious of my footing when I’m running and I carry with me the reminders of physical damage on both my knee and my pants (which I can’t bear to part with!).
I have always said God doesn’t mind so much if we fall in our journey with Him, but the fact that we get up again and continue on. While this is absolutely true, I have been reflecting on the fact that when we fall, there will often be some sort of damage done along the way. I believe that in the past I have focussed more on the fact that I have gotten back up and on my way rather than the consequences of that stumble. Hopefully it makes me more aware of the pitfalls I might face in life and be a little more cautious, but I may also have to accept the damage that has been done along the way.
Does this mean I don’t still get up when I fall? Of course not, but I might need to be more observant as to the injuries I have received (or caused) as a result. Whatever point you are at in your journey I pray you give consideration to this also.