Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Whoops! I Slipped ... and Caught The Clothesline

It seems that I may be accident-prone. Not quite a month ago, I wrote how my motorbike pulled me off my feet as I pushed it with the motor running to help me go uphill. 

Well, I had another rather embarrassing wipe-out today. Fortunately, nothing was majorly injured thanks to ... a loosely-strung clothesline.

In yesterday's post, I mentioned the team of French women who are spending some time at the children's home. One of the women does a lot of gardening, and is working with the kids to beautify the front of the home with new plants.

One of the kids needed some water before putting the plant in the hole he had just finished digging. In my Croc-shod feet, I quickly headed for the hose. There was only one problem. The cement was wet and a bit muddy from the gardening going on in the area. It was not only wet and muddy, but also a bit soapy because people usually do laundry in that area, scrubbing their clothes on the ground when there is NOT gardening in the works.

My feet slipped out from under me and I instinctively grabbed for anything I could get hold of. As it turns out, the only thing available was the loosely-strung clothes line. This clothesline is actually a double-decker one. The higher line is about eye-level for me.  The lower one is about waist high. 

I tried to grab the lower line with my left hand. I missed, and caught it with my wrist instead. My feet had already gone straight ahead, and the line slowed my fall just enough to "ease" me to the ground. I landed on my right forearm. (Incidentally, I landed in exactly the same place as when Harley pulled me over last month.) The end result was muddy jeans, a bruised left wrist and right elbow, and a few general aches all over. 

Slipping on the cement that was wet ... and muddy ... and soapy could have resulted in a fall that sent me to the emergency room. That easily could have happened without the clothesline. As it was, I did not land on anything with a lot of force. Nothing was broken, only bruised. Most importantly, I did NOT hit my head. The line kept my upper body from hitting the ground at all. I am very thankful for that.

Better Than a Clothesline

I am also thankful that I have something far better than a clothesline to grab onto when unexpected things happen in life that could cause me to fall flat on my face ... or my backside, so to speak. 

I am not talking about wrong choices. I am not talking about sin. I am talking about ordinary things that happen, one after another, that culminate in "the straw that breaks the camel's back". Any multi-tasking mama will know what I am talking about.  I'll give just one example.
You are boiling spaghetti for dinner as you do a quick vacuum of the living room carpet. Your 9-year-old's yoyo string gets tangled in the vacuum cleaner. The phone rings just as the spaghetti starts to boil over. You unthinkingly grab the hot lid of the pan without using a pot holder, and drop it on the floor. You are barely holding it together as you pick up the phone only to find it is a telemarketer - one of your pet peeves. To top it all off, your 4-year-old and your 6-year-old burst into the kitchen, screeching and whining, expecting you to straighten out their squabble.
That would be enough to make anybody crazy. I doubt that very many of us could weather a series of events like that with a June Cleaver smile and a perfectly calm reaction. Most of us, I think, will find our calm shaken by events like these. At least a little bit.

There is good news, though. If we are in the habit of spending regular time with the Prince of Peace, the peace He gives lives inside us. It is a peace we can hold onto when life's pressures build up and threaten to force us into spectacular wipeout.

As we hold onto that Peace we, and those around us, can be protected from the heaviest damage, even if we slip a little bit.

Aren't you glad that the peace Jesus gives is a whole lot stronger than a loosely-strung clothesline?

What has been happening in your life? Have you recently had a series of things go wrong that could have led to a wipeout, but didn't because you held onto the peace Jesus gives? Perhaps you did have a spectacular wipeout, because you didn't have that peace.  Feel free to share your story in the comment section below.

(By the way, Alan Jackson fans might recognize the title of this post as being an adaptation of his song "Whoops, I Slipped, and Fell in Love" on his Drive album.)

(Clip art from http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images/results.aspx?qu=SLIp&ex=1# )

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