The Orthodox among us will recognize the title. There is general acknowledgment that in our spiritual lives we tend to fall down and get up many times. We commit the same old transgressions again and again and again. We are genuinely sorry, and do try to repent, but we recognize that we probably will fail and have to try yet again. Fall down, get up; fall down, get up.
So I try to say my prayers, but sometimes I forget. I repent and start over with new resolve. Fall down, get up.
I want to attend the Divine Services regularly, but I can’t. I repent and start over with new resolve. Fall down, get up.
I want to give alms, but I can’t get to where the poor are. I repent and start over with new resolve. Fall down, get up.
People ask me for words of advice and for help. All too frequently I miss their missives, and end up responding to them inappropriately late. I repent and start over with new resolve. Fall down, get up.
Our lives are like that. We allow the physical and mundane things of life interfere with the things that are truly real and of utmost importance. When we stand before the awesome God and account for our lives, will we be able to say that we attended to the things of God, or will we have to admit to allowing our life to get in the way of our Life?
I will have to admit that. The good I would do, I do not, and the evil I would not do, I do. (Romans 7:19). In the words of the Anglican General Confession, “there is no help in me.” I have only myself to blame for my shortcomings – which are so many. In the words of St. Paul: “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” (Romans 18-25).
Pray for me, my friends, that I may get up and remain standing!