Paul Wylie was skating in the 1988 Winter Olympics at Calgary. He was nervous as he began his program before 20,000 people and a TV audience of millions. Then, in his first jump, something went wrong. He writes, “A flash later my hand touches the ice; the blade will not hold. I start slipping and now I realize it: I am falling. All I hear as I collapse to the ice is the empathetic groan of what seems like a million voices.”
Wylie was faced with a split-second choice: He could focus on the mistake and give up, or he could keep on skating and do his best. Just then this Scripture verse came to his mind: “Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down” (Ps. 37:24). He continued his routine and decided to skate “heartily, as to the Lord” (Col. 3:23). At program’s end the crowd burst into enthusiastic applause for his courage and determination.
As followers of Jesus, we may be knocked off our feet by a powerful blow. A loved one may die, or we may lose a job, or we may be overlooked for a promotion. We may be dismayed by a fall into sin. It’s one thing to fall; it’s quite another to give up. If we get up again, reaffirm our faith in Christ, and keep on serving Him, we will not be “utterly cast down.”
Success is failure turned inside out—
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit,
It's when things seem worst that you mustn't quit. —Piggott
Success consists of getting up just one more time than you've fallen down.