Yelling (bleep) at church and other lessons about gravity

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There is a verse of scripture that says “though he may stumble, he will not fall.” That verse, Psalm 37:24, was not written about me. I know I am using it out of context, but it reminds me of a story.

I played baseball in high school and intramural sports in college. I was pretty fast back in the day. I was also pretty agile at one point. Things change.

I was walking out of our old church a few years ago. It was early evening and I had been helping with a ministry there. My son, who was in the single digits in age back then, ran past me on the sidewalk and hit me in the arm as he passed.

“You can’t catch me!”

Convinced that I could catch him, I took off in pursuit. I was right. As I mentioned earlier, I was pretty fast. I caught up with him quickly and reached out to grab him around the shoulders. The idea was to scoop him up and keep running. Then, like a confused driver on a busy highway or any random person in front of me at the grocery store, he stopped for no reason whatsoever. Kids are good at that.

Rather than trample my son, which totally ruins a fun bonding moment, I reacted the only way I could. I jumped. I didn’t jump over him but, rather, sideways. Agility, you see.

After successfully not trampling my child, I lost my balance. Rather than simply falling down, I carried forward for another 10 or 15 yards idiotically not falling. My agility was broken.

I crossed over the sidewalk, part of the driveway, and some of the lawn—cell phone in hand, of course—until I crashed into a parked car shoulder first. As I hit the tire, I dropped my phone on the concrete and went to the ground.

Then, I yelled a word that rhymes with spit. Perhaps you know the word I mean.

I got up quickly with only a scratch on my cell phone to show for my foolishness. No one was around to hear my expletive or witness my last bit of athletic ability leaving my body. My son was nowhere to be seen either.

There’s a lesson in everything, you know. Since I started off by taking one line of scripture out of context and running with it—like some denominations—I’ll end with another. “Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined.”

Often, the wisdom comes after the fact. Sometimes, when you stumble, it’s better to go ahead and fall.

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