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  • Writer's pictureRandy McKenzie

Falling Upward! The way Down is the way Up

Have you met your Waterloo or your Stalingrad yet? I know that seems like a strange question. Waterloo was the decisive engagement of the Waterloo Campaign and Napoleon's last. It was also the second bloodiest single day battle of the Napoleonic Wars.

The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday, the18 June,1815.  It set a historical milestone between serial European wars and decades of relative peace, often referred to as the Pax Britannica. In popular culture, the phrase "meeting one's Waterloo" has become an expression for someone suffering a final defeat. What is interesting to me is that this battle was fought on a Sunday.

The Battle of Stalingrad (23 August 1942 – 2 February 1943) was a major battle on the Eastern Front of World War II where Nazi Germany and its allies unsuccessfully fought the Soviet Union for control of the city of Stalingrad (later renamed Volgograd) in Southern Russia. The battle was marked by fierce close-quarters combat and direct assaults on civilians in air raids, with the battle epitomizing urban warfare. It was the bloodiest battle of the Second World War, with both sides suffering enormous casualties Today, the Battle of Stalingrad is often regarded as the turning point in the European theatre of war. After the war, there were interviews with the German soldiers, they stated that Stalingrad was the first time they came to the realization that they might not conquer the world as Hitler had predicted. The German army turned and went the other way. They were eventually defeated.

Life, if we are honest about it, is made up of many failings and fallings amidst all our hopeful growing and achieving. Those failings or fallings must be there for a purpose, a purpose that neither culture or church has fully understood. If we truly look at these, the timing, the sequence, the staging, we realize there was a purpose. God has a plan; we walk a certain path. Each of us has to walk it ourselves before we get the "big picture" of human life.

For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death. ”

2 Corinthians 7:10

 None of us go into spiritual maturity by our own accord or by totally free choice. We are led by Grace. Most of us have to be cajoled or seduced into it, or we fall into some kind of "transgression", like Jacob finding his birthright through cunning and Esau losing his through failure (Genesis 27). Those who walk the entire or full journey are considered "called" or "chosen". True spiritual growth comes when we rise from the ashes of our mistakes.

Our soul has many secrets, one of the best kept secrets, yet hidden in plain site is that the way up is the way down--or if you prefer the way down is the way up. This pattern is obvious in all of nature with the changing of the seasons, the burning up of the energy daily for the light and heat form the sun, dieting and fasting. It is not that suffering or failure might happen or that it will happen only if you are bad, it will happen. Losing, failing, falling, sin, and the suffering, that comes from those experiences, all is necessary and even a good part of the journey.

Pain is part of the deal. God will always give you exactly what you want and truly desire. So make sure you desire deeply, desire your true self (the person God meant for you to be), desire a stronger relationship with God, and desire everything good, true, and beautiful.

This is a step away from an egocentric reference point. We empty ourselves.

God rushes in to fill us.

When we stop using ourselves as a reference point for anything, we will have freedom. True Love can only exist in a free environment.

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