(Ok, so I put a goofy picture here! Sue me! I get tired of trying to find inspirational pics to match my blog. Here is me, at my desk, where I write and do what I do…I should not have consumed the whole bag of chocolate!)

In 1978, the Flying Walenda family was the premier wire-walking family of their day. Family patriarch Karl Walenda tried to walk a wire between two ten-story buildings in San Juan and failed. His wife said, “For months, all that Karl thought about prior to his death was falling. He put all of his energies into not falling rather than simply walking the tightrope.”

On this journey of love and life, you have to run your race without nets. You wonder who will catch you when you fall. But that is not the issue. The real issue is: Where do you put your energies? On your fear of falling or in the One who has placed this purpose in your heart? In this life, you will stumble over fears and fall from time to time. You will trip over your tendency to put others’ needs down on the road of your priorities. You will slip on peels of pride and stagger under the weight of loss. When all of these falls occur:

-your ego will get bruised

-your faith will be tested

-your love will be proven

-your heart will be examined

-your motives will be revealed

Falling is easy. Getting up is the hard part.

When you fall in love and the relationship ends, you can get back up again.

When you fall into grief as a loved one dies, you can get back up again.

When you fall into sin and guilt holds you down, you can get back up again.

In fact, Jesus fell in love with us. For whom will you fall? Who will be waiting on the track, beaten up with all their strength spent? Will you make it to them in time? God knows how hard it is for you to get back up after a fall. He knows how much more dirt you have to taste, before you can sip the sweet wine of compassionate resurrection. With your face pressed against the trail of tears, you can hear the whispers of the One who has already run the road you travel.

Jesus reminds us: “Whenever you fall for one of these, you fall for me. So, get back up. You are My Olympian.” The pain will pass, but the beauty will remain. During this race, it is not measured in the steps taken, but in the falls endured. Jesus fell three times on the way to Calvary. Every single time, He got back up and continued His pilgrimage to the skull hill. If you will not quit, every step is one closer to somebody’s resurrection–maybe your own. It is the hot iron that forges the letters of your life’s manifesto. It will shape the convictions that you will live and die by.

 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23).

 When there is no other place to lay the pain of your life’s journey, the foot of the cross is waiting.

When you kneel before the cross of Christ stained with precious blood, you are not alone.

When you kiss the wood that breaks your back and seems to slow your journey; you become intimate with your own wounds.

Some of these wounds are from others. Some are self-inflicted.

The most difficult experience in life is not that suffering and humiliation scars and bruises you on your journey, it is the fact that you must endure suffering “alone.” Or so you think. But the cross of Christ shouts that you will never have to carry your cross by yourself.

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