Friday, March 6, 2020

Falling Down and Getting Up

Today is the fifth day of Lent. It feels like the fifty-fifth. I already feel battered and bruised from what seems like a neverending barrage of spiritual attacks that manifest themselves each day. We have barely begun and already I want to throw in the towel.

I went into my room today and closed the door and all I wanted was to be able to walk out of that room and find an empty house: nobody to fight with, nobody to sass me, nobody to scream when things aren't going their way.

But clearly that was not going to happen. People don't just magically disappear when you want them to. I lay on my bed wanting to cry in frustration, knowing that I had to go back out there and deal with the chaos.

I reluctantly let go of the wishful thinking and found myself remembering a song from twenty years ago,

"I get knocked down
But I get up again...

Of all the songs to get stuck in my head. *Sigh*

But I let myself hear the words and take in their meaning. Then more words came:

A monk was once asked, "What do you do up there in the monastery all day?" The monk replied, "We fall and get up, fall and get up, fall and get up again."

I found myself thinking about how I'd rather not fall down anymore. I'm tired of falling down. The effort of getting back up is too much.

Along came the words to another song,

"Uninspired and much too tired
To bleed for the Word today.
I want
I need
To walk the narrow way.

Give blood to get spirit
Only soldiers storm the gate
Do I have the ears to hear it
Or to keep a warrior's pace
The servants will be greatest
But no sweat flows from my pores.
My hands are smooth and the gate is
Taken violently by force.

Sheesh. I guess that means I have to get up again, doesn't it? The battle won't end in this life. In Tito Colliander's little book, Way of the Ascetics, he says,

"Do not fuss over yourself, no matter how it hurts. Get up again and resume the battle. He who fights gets wounded. Only angels never fall."

So here I am. Time to get back up and resume the battle. Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.

(Incidentally when I came out of my room everybody was getting along and there was peace long enough for me to write this. I know it's only a small reprieve, but I'm thankful. Glory to God.)