Have you ever fallen off the wagon? I have. In fact, through all the transition of the past few months, I’ve just about fallen off the “blog wagon.” If you read these posts with any regularity, you know that. (Thanks for hanging with me, by the way!)
But falling off the “blog wagon” got me thinking about other wagons we fall off of easily—and our responses to falling off. For some reason, we’re pretty hard on ourselves. We find validation in staying on the wagons of life, and hence we feel like losers when we fall off of one. For some reason, our conscience feels better if it beats us up a bit—as though there is some price to pay for the failure of the fall. We put ourselves through our own private, emotional purgatory—requiring penance and kicking ourselves while we’re down—which tends to KEEP us down.
Frankly, we’re harder on ourselves than God is. Even when it’s a sin issue, He doesn’t ask us to pay, He asks us to confess and forsake. Payment is already made, it’s the getting back up and moving forward in growth that He commands. But that seems too simple, and so we stay downand chastise ourselves for a while.
Mean while, the wagon is waiting.
Funny thing about falling off a wagon. All you have to do is get up, dust yourself off a bit, and get back on. Wagons are just as easy to re-mount as they were to mount in the first place.
Think about the wagons we tend to fall off. How about your devotional life and walk with Christ? What about your exercise routine? Remember that decision to eat healthier? Think about that project you’ve been procrastinating on. (Ok, I’m meddling, so before you quit reading, I’ll quit meddling.) But for the sake of the post, call to mind a wagon that you’ve fallen off of, and are beating yourself up for. Got it?
Ok, next question. Who’s screaming at you the loudest for falling off? Probably yourself. Probably your own conscience. Jesus isn’t yelling at you for failing to walk with Him. He’s waiting patiently for you to renew fellowship. Your friends probably aren’t ridiculing you for not exercising. Nobody has been hounding me to write blog posts. Chances are, you are hardest on yourself.
You know what the rest of the world expects you do? (Not that they are holding their breath or anything.) Get back on the wagon.
It’s that simple. Stop mourning the failure. Stop looking for a stick with which to beat yourself. Stop pouting over lost time. If you’re heart is still beating, there’s still time to get up, dust yourself off, and get back on the wagon. That project is still waiting to be tackled. That relationship is still waiting to be reconciled. That exercise routine is just as healthy today as it was yesterday. Jesus is still waiting to commune with you today, like He has been every day of your life. What was of value yesterday, is still of value today!
Everybody falls off wagons in life. Forward progress happens, not because we are good at staying on wagons. It happens because we are good at getting back on them! Longterm success in life is the product of learning to do right things over and over again—and returning to right things quickly when you have stopped doing them.
So, whether it’s blogging, jogging, church attendance or tithing… quit kicking yourself for falling off. Times a wasting. Get up and get back on.
The wagon is waiting!
“For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again…” (Proverbs 24:16 )