Life is more about getting up than it is about not falling. So my father commented once, long time ago when we were watching figure skating.
It was the return of Scott Hamilton after his battle with cancer. For those too young to remember, Scott Hamilton was an amazing figure skater who leaped to fame by perfecting a backflip on ice. ……
He was a champion-with an Olympic gold medal, four US Championships,etc. But at the height of his fame, he go cancer. His battle …left him so weak that he couldn’t skate anymore. …………….
But eventually he beat the cancer, began working toreagain his strength and perhaps return to the ice. Then came a nationally televised professional figure skating competition, and Hamilton got a spon in the program to make his return………………
When it was his turn Hamilton came out smiling and ran through a strong program…..everyone was wondering if he could still do (his famous back flip). He began circling the rink, skating backwards, going faster and faster. The song playing…..repeats over and over again: “I get knocked down, but I get up again! You’re never gonna keep me down!” ….Hamilton launched into the air in a souring backflip!….
That was when my dad commented: “That sound–those lyrics are good psychology. You can count on getting knocked down in life. And you can’t let fear paralyze you. Everyone’s going to take his or her lumps. The important thing is getting up again. That’s a good life skill to learn.”
And from Scripture I learned this is not just good psychology; it’s good spirituality. The Bible tells us: “Though the just fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble from only one mishap”(Proverbs 24:16)
St. Francis de Sales said: “Raise up your heart after a fall, sweetly and gently, humbling yourself before God in the knowledge of your misery, and do not be astonished at your weakness, since it is not surprising that weakness should be weak, infirmity infirm, and frailty frail”
In other words: we’re human, we’re weak, and failure happens. We can count most assuredly on setbacks, things blowing up, our best laid plans going awry. but we can get up again.
As St. Basil the Great said: ‘There is still time for endurance, time for patience, time for healing, time for change. Have you slipped? Rise up. Have you sinned? Cease. Do not stand among sinners, but leap aside. For when you turn away and weep, then you will be saved.”
WE HAVE TODAY-although we may not have tomorrow, as St. Augustine reminds us: “God has promised forgiveness to your repentance, but he has not promised tomorrow to your procrastination.” BUT WE HAVE NOW. WE CAN CHANGE, START OVER, TRY AGAIN.
A great quote from Oliver Goldsmith captures it: “SUCCESS CONSISTS OF GETTING UP JUST ONE MORE TIME THAN YOU FALL.”
And real success, THE ONLY TRUE SUCCESS AND THE ONLY SUCCESS THAT MATTERS IN THE END, IS MAKING IT TO HEAVEN-becoming a saint. Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta told us: “SAINTS ARE ONLY SINNERS WHO KEEP TRYING.”