I Will Not Fall Down…(Without Getting Up!)

The Natural

TheDiscipleMD

“My life didn’t turn out the way I expected”- (Roy Hobbs from the movie: The Natural).

All of us have things that come into our lives that we never expected. If they haven’t already visited us, they will in time. I remember going to the movie theater in Pullman, Washington in 1984 to watch the move “The Natural”. You know the storyline! A young man with great natural talent gets sidetracked from his goal of becoming the greatest baseball player ever. Early in the movie, this young prodigy says:

“You know what? Someday…l’ll break every record in the book. I know I got it in me. When I walk down the street, people will say, “There goes Roy Hobbs…the best there ever was.”

Many of us get “sidetracked” along the path of life. Trials and life changing events happen. Some wonderful, some tragic! When finally Roy Hobbs makes it to the majors, decades after a tragic event alters his plans, his new manager says to him:

“People don’t start playing ball at your age, they retire!”

Roy Hobbs doesn’t let his age deter him, he continues following his dream, and although he will never be…”the best there ever was”, he gains the respect of all who know him by his persistence and courage.

I have met a few “Roy Hobbs” over the years. Men and women I know who have been sidetracked from their dreams.  Some have come from homes that can only be described as “hell houses”, where abuse and abandonment are commonplace.  Some have had marriages fall apart or have experienced the untimely death of a child or spouse. Their dreams have been shattered! Sometimes I wonder how they have gone on with life. But they have.  Still others have brought upon themselves pain and sorrow due to the consequences of living a sinful life.  “My life didn’t turn out the way I expected” is not just a line uttered by a character on-screen, it is a common refrain that most of us say at one time or another in our lives. At times, finding joy can be as elusive as eating Jell-O with chopsticks! It’s there on the plate for the taking, but not easily consumed.  But I find comfort in the words of the Lord recorded in the 101st section of the Doctrine and Covenants:

“And all they who suffer persecution for my name, and endure in faith, though they are called to lay down their lives for my sake yet shall they partake of all this glory. Wherefore, fear not even unto death; for in this world your joy is not full, but in me your joy is full. Therefore, care not for the body, neither the life of the body; but care for the soul, and for the life of the soul. And seek the face of the Lord always, that in patience ye may possess your souls, and ye shall have eternal life.”

Occasionally, I think all of us want to say, “Well that’s great that our joy will be full in the next life but I’m not living that life right now. I’m living this one and I don’t like it one bit!” When we find ourselves feeling sorry and saying these types of things, it’s usually “the natural” man poking his head out of our spiritual souls.  The Lord does tells us that in this life our joy will not be full, but we can still find great joy in the challenges presented to us while on this earth. The older I get, the more I see the great growth in my own life that has come through my trials.  There is something about overcoming adversity that builds godly characteristics. When you fall down, and then get back up, you become stronger. Your self-respect grows and your appreciation for the small blessings of life increase.

Like Roy Hobbs, some of our dreams may never come to fruition due to circumstances beyond our control. But we do control how we react to trials.  I think the promises of the Lord that “ye shall have eternal life” is worth fighting for!

Tim McGraw sang:

“No one wants to think about getting older, they try to push you out before it’s over, the same world that lifts you up can put you in your place…and I should probably go out quietly, but I’ve got something left, something left to say…I will not fall down, I will not fall down, I…will…not…fall down…without getting up…” (I Will Not Fall Down”, Tim McGraw)

We need not go out quietly! Let us allow the Lord to be the “wind beneath our wings.”  When adversity knocks us down, let us look to the Lord for strength so that we may get up again. While our mortal dreams can often be taken from us, our eternal ones are completely in our control because, with the help of the Lord’s mercy, we can get back up and claim them.

 

 

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