Every now and then I get inspired to walk. Walking is fun when the walk is long and slow and perhaps accompanied by some music. Other times there are birds to listen to or streams to walk through. One time I was walking down a long country road near my house and some cows, thankfully on the other side of a fence, were eyeing me up and making some rather aggressive cow sounds as they sauntered in my direction. On the way back past the cows I made sure I was in a slow jog–on the other side of the road.
I figure I started walking around the age of one. If I'm accurate, then I have been standing and walking for about 42 and a half years. That's a long time to be walking and I can recall more than one occasion when my feet or ankles or legs in general betrayed me and I fell flat on my face or my behind. Falling is a lot less graceful than walking, but walking requires a lot less grace than falling. We can walk all day and find ourselves oblivious to our needs. Frankly, maybe, we are only aware of our deep need for grace when we fall. That said, we have to fall in order to see the need which means that we necessarily have to forget, for a mere moment, how to walk.
I've been walking for 42.5 years, how can I possibly forget how to walk? Yet we do.
Walking is a beautiful thing. I like watching animals walk because–I don't know if you have ever noticed–animals rarely fall. The are about as steady as it comes–maybe because they walk on four legs–and they often walk in places where human beings can scarcely imagine. Maybe humans are inclined to such disaster precisely because we are in need of so much grace. Maybe we should feel badly for people who are rock-steady on their feet, who never fall, who never need grace.
Maybe the proclivity to fall is God's or evolution's built-in measure to constantly, or at least occasionally, remind us that we need help, that we need grace.
I had a conversation the other day with a very important person in my life. I was concerned about walking. My point to this person went something like this: 'What does it say about me and my work if I ask for help?' The response was pure genius and I suspected that the Lord had opened this person's mouth and spoke directly to my heart. It went like this: 'What does it say about you if you do not [ask for help]?'
Last night I learned a very important lesson. I learned that it is OK to need help walking. Better, I learned that didn't even know I had fallen. I learned that even something that comes to us so naturally, so fluently, so beautifully can, sometimes, require just a little extra help.