A Splendid Fall
I have discovered, in my rapidly declining years, that I am falling more often. My sense of equilibrium has weakened, causing me to become dizzier on a ladder. I’ve been instructed by those close to me to stay off ladders but, as any man knows, you can’t get certain things done without climbing the rungs. I was recently taking the shutters off my house when I began to fall backwards. Fortunately, it was off a 6-foot ladder but unfortunately it was over top of my shrubbery. In a split moment I had to make an important decision. Fight the fall and end up in the thorny bushes or leap into the air and aim for the grass. The latter decision was taken, and I sustain no serious injury.
As in any stage of life it is important to learn certain things to survive. I have discovered three vital truths concerning the art of falling. First, do not fight the fall. It is vital to relax during a rapid dissent. If you hit the ground with your muscles tensed the chance of injury increases. Secondly, look for a soft place to land. Grass is to be preferred over rosebushes. And finally, perhaps the most important element of the fall is, after you have landed, look around to make sure no one has seen you. If you have been observed, quickly offer money for their silence. If it is reported to many times that you have fallen, your family will begin to look for an assisted living accommodation.
When Peter entered the courtyard of the high priest, he had no idea that he was in for the fall of his life. He was simply there in hope that he could rescue Jesus. When confronted about his identity he denied being a follower of Jesus three times. After his third denial the rooster crowed, and the rest is history. It is the response of Peter that I want you to think about.
It is recorded that he wept bitterly. He did not fight the fact that he denied Jesus. He allowed his fall to naturally take it to its final purpose and conclusion. Peter embraced it for all its ugliness and expressed true remorse. Secondly, Peter allowed Jesus to embrace and restore him after the resurrection. The bruised apostle chose a soft landing in the arms of Jesus. Judas chose the thorns and hung himself. The prickly bushes of self-pity were rejected for the soft grass of forgiveness and love. But Peter, to my dismay, rejected my third observation concerning the art of falling. Rather than looking around, to see if anyone saw him fall, Peter told the world. If Mark’s gospel is the product of Peter’s preaching than it is interesting to note that it is the most descriptive narrative concerning Peter’s fall. Rather than hide his sin, Peter told the world what Jesus had done for him. Thanks to that decision I know Jesus will forgive and restore me.