Falling forward (an a2z post)

It’s time for the letter “F” in our ongoing a2z meme

I debated for awhile what “F” should be… fear, frogs, friends, fellowship, finders-keepers… I ended up with the following: FALLING FORWARD.

You know that moment when you’re teetering on the edge? That moment where an abyss of depression, or regret, or just the same-ol’-thing lies on one side, and the unknown, with all its fears and frustrations, lies on the other? How often do we let ourselves fall heedlessly backward into the familiarity of the abyss because we’re afraid to fall forward? What if, in order to make forward progress, you have to FALL FORWARD?

We’re all familiar with falling backward. Call it failure or backsliding or losing ground, falling backward indicates a failure to hang on to a position or place or achievement we’ve worked to attain. Many of us were told growing up to prepare to “have something to fall back on” in case our dreams of success in some creative endeavor failed us. As Denzel Washington told the University of Pennsylvania’s 2011 graduating class, “I don’t want to fall back on anything except my faith. If I’m going to fall, I want to fall forward.”

Falling forward? Who falls forward? Even in those “trust tests” performed in group therapy, where you close your eyes and fall backward into the arms of your teammates, you’re still falling backward. Imagine turning around, eyes wide open, and falling forward…

I believe that’s what God asks of us when we come to those places of transition, those seasons of change, where we can either go ’round the mountain in the desert one more time or go on toward the Promised Land. We rack our brains for a plan, for a program, for “the next step” and He asks us to fall forward.

Huh? FALL FORWARD? Crazy. It looks like certain death. But as we look around, we realize we’ve reached a place where there’s nothing we can DO, no action we can take, that will accomplish anything beyond wearing us out. We can bed down where we are, we can retreat, or we can FALL FORWARD with a childlike trust and reliance on God. It’s the kind of trust that my grandson demonstrates when he stands at the top of a step (or in his high chair, or on the kitchen table) and holds out his arms to me, and falls forward. He believes I’ll catch him, every time.

Why do we expect less of our heavenly Father?

Have you encountered a “falling forward” time? What was the outcome? 

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