As a 7th grader in junior high school, I was devastated when I was cut from the starting 8th grade football team and sent to the second team. I felt disappointed, embarrassed and dejected. Latter that week, I spoke with my grandfather who passed on these words of wisdom, “It’s not how far you fall, but how high you bounce back that matters.” I took those words to heart. The Bible says in Proverbs 25:11, “Timely advice is lovely, like golden apples in a silver basket.” I valued his wise words and committed to doing my best for this second string team, instead of pouting and complaining over my sense of failure. I committed to working hard, giving my all to bounce back. It served me well as I entered high school and played on two state championship teams.
I learned that day that what happens to me in life doesn’t count as much as how I react to those things. I had a choice the day I was cut from the team—I could wallow in misery and quit the team, or I could choose to fight through my circumstances and work hard to improve. Each day, choices like these present themselves. When people are cruel, I can choose to accept their apology or let my bitterness grow. When I am treated unfairly, I can devise a way to get even, or I can seek the Lord’s wisdom and demonstrate patience as He shows me what to do. When I am fired from a job, I can learn from why things did not work or I can blame everyone else around me for my misfortune and never learn, grow or change. When I am congratulated for a job well done, I can either pat myself on the back or thank the Lord for providing me with the skills to succeed.
Life throws different circumstances your way every day, both good and bad. Wherever you are in your life, it is important to remember that people are watching and looking to see how you are living your life. You will long be remembered, not only for what happened to you in your life, but for how you handled life’s circumstances. When those circumstances cause you to fall, I challenge you to bounce back!