Let’s face it—it’s easier to fall down than it is to get up. It’s easier to descend than to climb. Gravity is against going up and insists that we all go down. But gravity isn’t delicate in its insistence. It doesn’t gently pull the apple from the tree; it pulls it violently to the ground leaving it bumped and bruised. It doesn’t softly carry the rocks from the top of the mountain to the valley below but pushes them aggressively, gathering more and more rocks as it rushes everything in its path downward with all its force. Yes, down is easier to come by than up, but the pain that happens in the process is most of the time anything but pleasant. Drop a glass from a second-story window and see the effects of gravity in its raw and brutal strength. Gravity pulls at us all, and through strength and effort we resist it because to fall is to be scraped up and bruised. Falling, for most of us, is embarrassing. It’s like when you walk down the hall and suddenly trip over nothing. Your impulse is to look back disgustedly at the ground as if to show everyone how it reached up and grabbed you violently, leading you to stumble. Falling is no fun. It makes you look weak and vulnerable, and it’s something that most of us desperately want to avoid.
But gravity will not give up. It won’t let go of us easily; it’s always there waiting to make fools of us, waiting to pull us back down to size, insisting that to rise again is too hard and that to try is just a waste of energy. In the words (and lyrics) of John Mayer,
“Gravity is working against me, and gravity wants to bring me down,” and sometimes it seems to be winning.
Down disqualifies us from the fight; it means we’ve lost, we’ve been taken down, and they’ve won. For the world, the idea of down is not a place most of us want to be, but in the life of faith, down isn’t all that it appears to be.
Down is the new up, and it all started for the believer when Christ came to earth (Phil. 2:7–8). With his arrival, weakness became strength and death became life. His meekness confounded his followers. His kindness angered his oppressors. And his sacrifice shocked his world. He didn’t live as people imagined the Messiah would. He didn’t wield his omnipotence and come down from the cross, he didn’t turn the rocks into bread, and he didn’t beg people to follow him. He didn’t disgrace sinners. He wasn’t what most of the world thought he would be. Unlike a king, he owned only what he wore. Unlike royalty, he had no place to live. He didn’t argue with authority but lived under it. He didn’t start a rebellion but taught his followers love and sacrifice. He didn’t arrive as a giant among men but as a child in a manger. God could have arranged a castle and guards for him, but he didn’t even have a room. He could have had a wealthy endowment, but he was a poor carpenter. Getting the picture? Down is up and up is down. As faithful followers of Jesus, we can’t fall for the world’s ideas of up when they are down.
Excerpt From: Hayley DiMarco & Michael DiMarco. Die Young: Burying Your Self in Christ
About Die Young
You’re Never Too Old to Die Young
In a world that tempts you to chase happiness through self-centeredness, Hayley and Michael DiMarco shoot straight with you. Living for yourself will destroy you, and the only path to real life is through death to self. Here, the DiMarcos give you the rewarding (and sometimes counterintuitive) reasons for choosing to live for Jesus as you dig deep and bury yourself in Christ.