“It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.” ~ Vince Lombardi
I remember a priest of my youth giving a homily. He shared with us that people often give up in their faith lives, especially going to confession, because they experience themselves doing the same thing over and over again. They begin to feel like hypocrites going to confession for the same thing. They also begin to think that God will not forgive them for what they have done because they are having a hard time forgiving themselves.
He said something, then, that has remained with me to this day. He said that he is convinced that, at the end of our days, God does not count the number of times that we have fallen. No. He believes that God counts the number of times that we have gotten back up again. If the number of times that we have gotten up is one more than the number of times that we have fallen, he believes that God will be pleased with us because that meant that, to the very end, we kept trying to do better.
There is something very profound in that statement. God knows our frail human nature. He knows our weakness. He knows the temptations that are in this world. And He knows that we often fall. God does not want to see us in pain or anguish. That is why He is such a forgiving and loving God. He wants to see us perfect and whole. But, He knows that will only come about when our soul gets to leave this earthly realm and return to Him. Then, and only then, will we be perfected. Until then, it is constant work.
We get down on ourselves way too often because we fail. We begin to believe that we cannot be forgiven, that we cannot be redeemed. Nothing could be further from the truth. God wants us to continue trying. He wants us to get up, once again, and take another step toward His Kingdom.
He will not count our falls. He will count the times we got back up. Brace yourself. Get up today. And keep plodding toward His Kingdom!
FAITH ACTION: Has a failing kept you from trying? Ask God for His help, get back up, and make the attempt again.