I’m always on the lookout for a new book to read. So when a friend recently recommended Falling Upward : a spirituality for the two halves of life by Richard Rohr, I was intrigued. I happened to be ordering some products at a mega-site online, read the quick review of the book, and added it to my cart.
Oh. My. Goodnes. So good! I felt like Rohr was speaking directly to me. It was a conversation I couldn’t get enough of. I actually finished the book in two days. And two months later, I’m still mulling through the concepts and getting ready for another reading.
I completely trust that God is redeeming all of the good things and difficult things I’ve been through in my life into a beautiful picture. However, some days I completely fail to see the picture. I see the misery that has happened in my past and feel like a complete failure. The humility of those failures can completely sweep over me filling me with shame and disappointment. Disappointment for not making better choices, not honoring God, or not living up to the calling He’s placed on my life.
Yet Rohr suggests that this is exactly what needed to happen in the first half of our lives. We, by nature, are completely self-centered during the first several decades of life. But as our failures pile up we see how completely weak we are, and hopefully, see how completely dependent we are on God’s immeasurable grace.
“Any attempt to engineer or plan your own enlightenment is doomed to failure because it will be ego driven. You will see only what you have already decided to look for, and you cannot see what you are not ready or told to look for. So failure and humiliation force you to look where you never would otherwise.” (page 66)
If we don’t recognize how far we’ve fallen and go through the difficult experiences of life, we won’t know the full height of God in Heaven. We must go through the sinful stages of pride, experience loss, and sense failing to find real humility. And in doing so, we begin to let go of the ways of this world and find true peace, fullness, and connection to our great Creator.
I know with certainty that I’ve fallen to my knees many a time. It is now with great encouragement and hope, through complete humility, that I joyfully begin the process of falling upward.