I fell down the stairs last night.
Not just any regular set of stairs, either. I fell down the ladder-like steps that lead to our son’s loft-like bedroom in our little house. They’re steep and honestly, rather terrifying. Up to that very moment, I was proud to have been conquering them without incident for over a year.
That all ended last night when I miscounted the steps on my way down and ended up on my hind-end in a house-jarring thud. Thankfully, I got up with little more than a bruised glute and a bruised ego.
Falling down the stairs back in Georgia would certainly still have been painful, but help would be mere moments away. The first thought that went through my mind (after “OW!”) was gratitude that I wouldn’t need urgent medical care. The nearest hospital is well over an hour away – during daylight hours. Night driving can be quite precarious with virtually no lighting along the roads combined with dozens of speed bumps. It is avoided whenever possible. We do have an excellent local clinic as well as a private clinic here in the village, and the doctors are known to make house calls as needed. There’s even a well-equipped ambulance for true emergencies. But x-ray machines and lab facilities and more sophisticated testing are a long drive away when you’re sick or in pain.
So you can probably understand why I’m so grateful that this morning I need little more than a few ibuprofen and an ice pack.
We all go through experiences that knock us down a notch or two. Sometimes those things are caused by our own carelessness or poor choices. Other times they are completely out of our control. Regardless, we have a choice of how we respond.
We can choose to live out of fear.
We can choose to live out of anger.
We can choose to live out of resignation.
We can choose to live out of courage.
We can choose to live out of gratitude.
We can choose joy.
I hope none of you find yourself falling down the stairs today. But if you do, you get to choose how to respond.
Falling does not equal failing!