This weekend was full of adventures I treasure. I am grateful for friendships, time in God’s good creation, and even a little rest. Yesterday, I decided it would be good to take my buddy, Leo, to the Cliffs for a walk. I cannot recall him ever being quite so excited. He actually ran in place right in front of his leash – as if that was carrying him somewhere. He was beyond ecstatic. I knew I was in for an adventure from the beginning.
We headed to the Cliffs, windows down, Leo’s jaws flapping ever so happily in the wind. I did have a goal of how many miles I wanted to complete and planned to take it easy. I did a lot on Saturday (at least for me) and this was a recovery. Not much ever goes according to plan in my world. But we arrived and began our trek. It was an absolutely amazing day to be outside, so no complaints there at all. We took the first trail, connected to the second, and I thought it would be good to end with one more. Note – anytime I think I should do one more, it is almost always one too many. We took a trail I had not been on in a while – and couldn’t remember where it took me – and couldn’t remember how long it was. It ended up taking me further than I planned and felt like it would never end. We pressed on anyway – like we had a choice. I’m too stubborn to turn around.
This particular trail merges with other trails. The rising waters of the Neuse shut down some of the paths. So I opted for the one that went up. That’s all good unless you just want to be back at your car. That’s when it happened. I don’t remember why or how, I just remember the slow, painful motion that left me face down in the dirt. Some say that falling is the easy part – but I am not so sure. I felt like I bounced off the ground and hit again. Leo felt sorry for me, came back to rescue me, and I attempted to get up. All I could think was how embarrassing it would be to lay on this trail until someone made their way. Thankfully I was able to get up, but not without some serious effort and feeling really beat up. Did I mention we were on the trail going up? That was fun. We did make it back to the car, eventually. And I am still moving – just slowly.
I was reminded on my adventure that falling down does hurt. It hurts when we have plans and all is moving along well – only to be met with a sudden crash that derails our entire vision. It is painful to move through life only to be knocked down by forces we cannot even see. Falling down is hard. And then we have a choice. We either get up – even if it is slowly and filled with difficulty. Or we lay there until someone comes and forces us up. And even if we decide that we will get up – there is still an upward journey to go. The good news is we are not alone. Leo was my guide on this journey. He was not going to leave my side. He would make sure I had a reason to keep getting up and climbing.
As crazy as this sounds, be grateful for the Leo in your life today. There are those who love you and support you all along the way. There are those who see you fall and are there to cheer you on as you arise, one more time. Falling is hard, but we get up because there is so much more that awaits. And – maybe you are a Leo for someone else. Keep cheering, keep motivating, keep supporting. Falling down is hard, but it is even harder without Leo.
17 Iron sharpens iron,
and one person sharpens the wits of another.
18 Anyone who tends a fig tree will eat its fruit,
and anyone who takes care of a master will be honored.
Photos included in Devotions are captured by David Cain – The Cain Gallery. Photos are available for sale by contacting The Cain Gallery