Falling Upward

In the first half of life, we are naturally and rightly preoccupied with establishing our identity—climbing, achieving, and performing. But those concerns will not serve us as we grow older and begin to embark on a further journey, one that involves challenges, mistakes, loss of control, broader horizons, and necessary suffering that actually shocks us out of our prior comfort zone.

Eventually we need to see ourselves in a different and more life-giving way. This message of “falling down”—that is in fact moving upward—is the most resisted and counterintuitive of messages in the world’s religions including, and most especially, Christianity.

Falling Upward offers a new paradigm for understanding one of the most profound of life’s mysteries: how our failings can be the foundation for our ongoing spiritual growth. Drawing on the wisdom from time-honored myths, heroic poems, great thinkers, and sacred religious texts, Richard Rohr explores in this counter-intuitive book  the two halves of life and shows that those who have fallen, failed, or “gone down” are the only ones who understand “up.”

We grow spiritually more by doing it wrong than by doing it right.

Our failures and disappointments in life are actually stepping stones to the spiritual joys of the second half of life.

Powerful thoughts in this provocative book.

Thanks to my friend Charlie Lowell for giving me this unexpected gift. As I read, waves of encouragement and hope sweep over my body and soul.

You can get the book HERE.

More soon…

3 thoughts on “Falling Upward

  1. “Though a righteous man falls seven times, he will get up, but the wicked will stumble into ruin.” Proverbs 24:16.

    We are only ruined if we stay down. Falling is inherent. Getting up is the difference. One kinesiological text defines walking as “a controlled fall repeated in sequence.” And so we “walk” by faith.

    Also, my favorite thought on the subject (and one I steep in regularly),…..the proof that Jacob had indeed wrestled with the Lord was that he walked with a limp the rest of His life. I am confident there are not many upright and proud who have actually met Him, whatever their lips say. If they have, they have missed out on the intimacy with which I know Him.

    Great post. Looking forward to seeing you in February.

  2. I needed to read that this morning … I read it literally 10 minutes after pushing the button to publish a post about no longer knowing what the meaning of my life is post-church. Thanks for your words! They hit the spot

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