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Get Back Up
Last Wednesday, I took my dog, Cocoa, outside right after waking up. As I opened the door, the first thing I saw were about 4 baby deer, playing in the yard. They were eating grass, enjoying the cool weather, and the early morning sun. Cocoa was not happy to see these animals in her yard. I opened up the gate to the small fence that I placed up around the covered patio in the backyard. She jumped over the opening, hopped along the concrete steps, and she took off in a sprint toward the deer. As I realized she was moving at a faster-than-normal speed, I quickly tried to get my body over the opening in time to be able to hold on to the leash when she reached its end. I had one foot over and, as I was trying to get my other foot over, she reached the end of her leash. It propelled my body forward and, although I fought to stay upright on both feet, I let my body give in to the momentum pulling me forward and fell, screaming on my way down.
As I laid on the ground, I looked around at my surroundings. Cocoa was still far away, at the end of her leash. The deer were running away from her. No one was driving by the house and my neighbors weren't out to witness me scream and fall. I began to then examine my body--was anything hurting? Yes, but nothing was sprained or broken. I just had some new bruises to add color to my fair skin. Cocoa finally came running up to me and she gave me a look that said, "Mom, why are you on the ground?" She still didn't understand what was going on. I gave her a look that said, "You're lucky you're seven months old and don't realize you're strength."
While I was on the ground, I thought about all the things on my to-do list for the day. I had a run I was supposed to start around 6:30AM. It was a spaghetti lunch day at the church. My brother was coming in to town for lunch and to spend some time with Cocoa in the afternoon. I had youth to go to that night. This was not the time to fall and stay down. There was a lot to get done, a lot of people to see, and an exercise to get in. With no injury, and just a few bruises on my skin (not to mention my ego), I got up and continued on in my day.
I've reflected on this fall a lot since it happened...mainly because by the end of the day Wednesday, the heel of my right foot started hurting a lot from when I fell (and would continue to bother me the rest of the week). I could have chosen, while sitting on the ground Wednesday morning, to sit out on my run, to be frustrated by the fall, to let it be in the back of my mind all day, making me angry that it happened to begin with. I could have complained about it all day long to anyone who would listen. I could have chosen to see the entire day in a negative light because of one incident that started out my day.
The danger in our world today is not what the media or your friends on social media would lead you to believe it is. The danger is not found in our political beliefs, the COVID-19 crisis, or in anyone else the media tells us is "bad." The danger in our world today is all of the negativity we choose to entertain.
Think back on this last week. What did you think about the election results? Were you happy or disappointed? How did you show your feelings about the results? Did you brag about it? Did you spread rumors about the other side? Did you get in an argument with a family member in person or via social media? Prior to the election, I saw many posts from friends voting for Joe Biden that if Biden didn't win, the world would continue to be a bad place. After the election, I saw many posts from friends voting for Donald Trump that our world is doomed now that Biden is president-elect. All of these are constantly negative voices that are on our televisions, on our phone screens, and in our conversations with others. And these are just some examples from this week!! For the last couple of years, we have become a more polarized society and it is because of negativity that we willingly (and sometimes unknowingly) spread.
No matter how you feel about the election, its results, or its candidates, there is another way to deal with an election than with negativity. We can ALL get back up, dust the dirt off of us, and continue on with life. No matter who the president is and no matter who we voted for, God calls us to something higher than this earth. We are not of this world. We live in it now, trying to spread the Good News that Jesus Christ is the Lord and Savior of ALL people and that we ALL can be a part of God's family if we so choose. We say in the Lord's Prayer that we want God's Kingdom to come, God's will to be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Since we have free will, we are the ones being called to listen for Christ's will, to do Christ's will, and to make this earth more like heaven than it was before we got here. An election does not change that call. We can still reach out to those who do not know Christ loves them. We can still look for those in our community who do not have proper clothing and who go to bed hungry, and try to find ways to help empower them to meet their needs. We can still worship God. We can still read and study our Bibles. We can still pray. We live in a country where those are basic rights that CANNOT be taken away, no matter who is in charge.
I hope you will join me in moving on from the events that happened last week (as well as all the negative words that were said and spread in the lead up to it). Let's get up off the negative ground we all stand on and negative world we live in and get to work. Christ doesn't want us to stay down--Christ wants us to get up, move on, and do the work He has called us to do in this world. So let's go do it!
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