“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
Working with children, although challenging, can also be so incredibly rewarding. I witnessed a child’s first steps not long ago. How blessed I felt that out of the billions of paces he will take in his lifetime, I got to be an observer of the paramount one. He was seemingly unfazed by the tiny maneuver his feet made but it meant so much to those around him. He could not fully grasp the significance of what he had just accomplished, but his tiny step made a lasting imprint on a pathway in my mind.
I watched as he staggered and fell time after time after walking on his own for the first time since he was created. He messed up, but his parents were no less proud of him than they were before the fall. On the heels of this event, I strapped on my own walking shoes and took a journey back to Genesis.
Do you remember “in the beginning” when God was so proud of all He had made? He made the oceans, the animals, the trees, and flowers, but even after all this, something was missing. He breathed into what is walked on and created something that would continuously let Him down. He made what was once dirty to be desirable. He formed humanity with full knowledge that we would fail Him, yet man’s first breath began to match His own on that day of creation. Adam took his first steps in the garden until he grew stronger and more confident. Soon he and his household ran right into what could have destroyed them, had it not been for grace.
With the taste of what appeared to be fresh and appeasing, they sank their teeth deep into a spoiled and sinful beginning. But even after this, God came looking for them. Once they fell, He called out to them in the garden, but they hid because they were ashamed.
The baby I work with took his first steps, but even after the cheers and applause, he tumbled after he made progress. It is substantial to realize that his father didn’t love him any less but helped him up and showed him how to start over. This situation is comparable with the fall of man and also what remains of the steps we take. There are consequences to our sin, but our Savior hung blameless on a cross so that when we fall, we can look up and remember the sacrifice. He died for my sins and for yours because He loves us in spite of what He knew we would do. We can rise from the ground to our knees and regain the strength to stand on our feet again.
Adam and Eve were the first people to ever walk. They were also the first ones to fall. This came with lasting, generational consequences, yet our Father loved them and loves us no less when we stumble.
They had to walk out of paradise, but their story did not end there. It may seem like you are not getting anywhere, but remember transition periods are where growth is taking place and where much learning and trusting happen. Do not despise the development and do not rush the process.
It is not how far you fall or even how often or how hard, it is how you rise and keep moving that matters. Don’t give up when you are knocked down. Yes, you will fall. Yes, you will make mistakes, but the funny thing about experience is that it often comes right after you needed it. Learn from your missteps, grow from what has tried to ground you, and don’t lose sight of why you are here.
A tree is where sin began, but a tree is also where it was forgiven and where it ceased to have power over you. Get back up, dear friend, however you have to. Never stop pressing toward the mark. It doesn’t have to be in giant leaps, just take baby steps and before you know it, you will be running.
“Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me” (Micah 7:8).
Rachel Thorne was born in Florida and has lived in many places throughout the United States. She is a graduate of Urshan College, formerly known as Gateway College of Evangelism. She wants to make a difference and change her world. Rachel is actively seeking the will of God for her life and is willing to do whatever He has for her.