Today I found myself in a strange situation running after Jared, my little six year old friend and holding the seat of her bike to keep her up as she learned to ride. It was exhausting. I ran all the way to the pool with this little girl. If I would let go, she would make it about 10 feet and then fall.
When we got to the pool, Jared practiced diving in the water to me and swimming ungracefully under water. " She can't swim" her parents might say, but I know she can. I've been teaching Jared to swim for the past two months and she's one brave little monkey.
After our swim party, I watched Jared riding her bike in the yard and falling. She would start to cry but then realize nobody was around so she would dust herself off and try riding again.
This girl is going to learn how to ride her bike and swim because she is determined. She is willing to fall if it is necessary. Even though it hurts her, she continues to strive.
I know that when I was a little girl, I was a fighter, just like Jared. I was willing to fall. When I learned to ride my unicycle I fell all day long over and over again for 3 months before I finally got it. I didn't mind falling on my ripstick either (that's how I broke my arm).
But now I have to stop and think about when the last time was that I tried something over and over and over again not afraid of failing, not afraid of embarrassment, not afraid of falling. Just today, I passed up a surgery in clinic, because I was afraid of failing. I was afraid of not being able to do the procedure right in front of the doctor so I opted out.
I don't try doing 360s on my wakeboard or doing anything more than wake to wake even though I spend all day long on a boat during summer camp. Why is that? Even though I teach wakeboarding and understand that you are going to fall, I hate hard crashes and don't want to get hurt. I'm afraid to fall hard.
The truth is the fear of falling limits our ability in sports, school, friendships, dating, and our relationship with Jesus Christ Himself. We often believe this lie that we are not good enough, or that if we try something and fail it makes us a weaker person. But I have to question who is braver and who is stronger: the person who tried and failed or the person who was too afraid to try?
Today I want to make the decision to try, to persevere, to let myself fail, and to not be embarrassed when I fall. Christ calls us to a higher standard than we could imagine and we are going to mess up and fall sometimes. But remember that when you do fall, you are falling into the loving arms of your Father who loves you very much.