Thursday, May 27, 2010

Falling for good reason.

I looked good and I knew it. I was wearing my camel colored, wool pea-coat and my roommate's awesome light washed jeans with my standard winter snow boots. My hair was long and so many people told me how gorgeous it was that I was beginning to believe it. One of the 7 matching hat/scarf/glove sets that I got for Christmas completed my look. I walked across campus on a sunny spring day without a care in the world except a few icy patches on the sidewalk.

And then I fell on my butt. My legs came out from under me, my arms flailed and I landed with an "oomph." My physical pain jumped to the background as embarrassment rushed in and I quickly looked around. Had anyone seen me? I scrambled to my feet, dusting snow off my bruised rear end. It appeared no one had witnessed my clumsy act. Or so I thought until I entered the cafeteria that evening for dinner and many people were not shy about telling me they saw the whole thing. Apparently a whole classroom had a good view of me directly across from the sidewalk where I fell. Then my rear end was not the only thing smarting, but my ego as well.

Adults are not built to fall. It hurts. It's embarrassing. We like to be upright. Our pride demands it. From a very young age we try to achieve it. Remi is a power crawler, asserting his independence at just 7 months old. Just recently he started pushing himself up onto his knees. His little body is almost standing. Almost. Imagine how much independece and pride he will carry in just a few years.

We all have this pride. How many times have we heard, "pride comes before a fall"? Yet falling doesn't have to be a bad thing. Being humbled before our Maker is a very good thing. "Come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the Lord our God" -- Psalm 95:6. So many times in Scripture, we see that voluntary humility is a sign of worship.

Exodus 4:31
...they bowed their heads and worshiped.

Exodus 12:27
...the people bowed their heads and worshiped.

Exodus 34:8
...Moses made haste and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshiped.

2 Chronicles 7:3
...they bowed their faces to the ground on the pavement, and worshiped...

2 Chronicles 20:18
...Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem bowed before YHWH, worshiping YHWH.

2 Chronicles 29:29
....the king and all who were present with him bowed and worshiped.

2 Chronicles 29:30
...they bowed their heads and worshiped.

Nehemiah 8:6
...they bowed their heads and worshiped YHWH with their faces to the ground.

Job 1:20
...[Job] fell to the ground and worshiped.

Isaiah 44:17
...He falls down before [the carved image] and worships it...

Isaiah 46:6
...They prostrate themselves, yes, they worship.

And this is only a few of the many references to worship and falling down, bowing down, or kneeling. Volunteering to fall seems a tall order. Really? I want to do everything myself; I have pride in so many things. Finding the strength to be vulnerable before God is where the true strength resides. Even if it's hard, unnatural feeling and a bit embarrassing. Maybe God designed it that way, so that we couldn't fake our devotion. It is evident to anyone who observes us by the way we fall in worship that we are utterly dependent on Him, the One who gives us strength to stand.



Ariel said...

I needed this right now. Thank you for the encouraging words :)

joyq said...

I do that fall on your butt/face (butt or face, not buttface) about once a day. God is good. You are a blessing to us all!

Andee said...

Thanks for the reminder. Good stuff today!

Kellie said...

If it makes you feel better I fell flat on my rear multiple times on campus during college. Ice and hilly campuses do not mix! The most embarrassing time was in the middle of campus while holding hot chocolate (which of course spilled all over me).