Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: CLUMSY (04/11/19)
- TITLE: Flying, Sliding, Shifting
By Rachel Burkum
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I remember going airborne. Literally. Within that split second, I recalled we had strung a single electric wire across that portion of the yard, so the horses could graze in a controlled area. Basically, I had just clotheslined myself. At one point, my feet were higher than my head. During mid-flight, my reflexes kicked in, and I grabbed at whatever I could in an attempt to catch myself. Did I mention the fence was still turned on?
My head and neck landed first, followed by the rest of my body. My family, safe in the house, probably mistook the rumble for thunder. As I lay stunned in the mud with the rain pelting down on my face, I suddenly felt a sharp pain to my hands, which shot up my arms. After a brief second, it happened again. The fence. I was still latched on to it. I never let go of anything so fast in my life. Not only was I in pain, muddy and wet, but I’d just been shocked multiple times. Stunned, I didn’t even move for several moments. Thankfully I didn’t break anything. I managed to get the barn door closed, and as I trudged back into the house a few minutes later, I was left with explaining to my family why I looked the way I did.
While memories like these often bring humor, the mortification also clings to the mind like a tenacious bulldog. It’s as if our consciences believe those embarrassing scenes are pivotal moments in our lives. In reality though, they are often infinitesimal instances that no one else can even recall. A good portion aren’t even seen by anyone else. Yet they still tend to haunt us.
Another moment of mine, which was witnessed, happened in a self-defense class. We were running laps to warm up, and I decided (foolishly) to try and go as fast as my instructor (you’d think after the whole fence incident, I would have sworn off running all together). Now, I’m not exactly built for running, making this goal just a wee bit ambitious. I’m honestly not sure what happened - I’ve pondered the possibility of a gremlin lifting up the mat in order to trip me. One second I was running, and the next second I was spread-eagle on the floor. I had face-planted the most glorious of all face-plants. Let me tell you, foam mats don’t taste good. I lay there laughing, red-faced, for several seconds before I could even pick myself back up again - physically and mentally. Granted, this particular instance is probably remembered by the others in class that day, and most likely by my instructor himself. He was also laughing… quite a bit… after making sure I was okay, of course.
Again though, as horrified as I was, that awkward move didn’t change the course of history. The earth didn’t stop rotating (although it may have shaken just a bit). Everyone laughed with me, not at me. And I was no worse for wear, other than a bruised ego. I got up, went on, and finished class (and tended to my sore muscles later).
Our human minds like to hang on to negative experiences much more than positive ones, and it’s a shame. So much joy is lost when we do that, and for what? Dwelling on our own mortification does nothing but rob us of seeing the positive things in life, not to mention a whole lot of laughter.
My goal has shifted to (wisely) not perform any more record speeds, but to simply set aside my embarrassment, laugh in the moment, and experience the joy that God has intended for me. In His eyes, I am His child, wonderfully made, no matter how may times I may (literally or figuratively) fall flat on my face. As a matter of fact, I think He’s probably had a good chuckle a time or two while watching me. And that thought doesn’t make me want to crawl in a hole. It makes me smile. As it should.
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