Have you noticed how often we suffer – or at least are inconvenienced – when we decide to abandon a good habit and do something differently? For instance, instead of putting the car keys on the hook by the back door, we put them our pocket or purse, or lay them on the TV. Why do we do these things?
The Arkansas Annual Conference was held in the Convention Center in Hot Springs. This is a huge building with escalators that travel up two stories. I’m a very safe escalator traveler. I have this thing about heights and I always hold the handrail.
One day, carrying a large purse over one arm and my conference notebook in the opposing hand, I blithely walked into the building and stepped on the escalator. What was I thinking? I decided I needed to shift the stuff in my hands so I would have one free for the rail. First, I should set the purse down on the step. When I did that, I missed the step and grabbed for my purse, lost my balance and danced backwards down two or three steps (while the escalator continued to travel upward). I felt myself losing control completely and I said out loud, “I’m going to fall.” And then, true to my word, I did indeed fall down the remaining two or three steps – of the escalator – the UP escalator.
As I fell, in slow motion just like the movies, I had time to think about several things. Sharp, pointy, metal stairs and machinery that could suck off my clothes or one of my digits came to mind. All this formulated into one clear thought: This is really going to hurt!
I landed hard on my bottom, on the floor, clear of the chewing machinery. I rolled backward onto my back. My head did not hit the floor (thankyoulord). A quick-thinking bystander turned off the escalator and my bag sat safely about ten feet above. My notebook had made the trip down with me.
Fortuously, my pastor happened to pass by. He asked all the right questions: Did I faint or get dizzy? Would I like to go to the emergency room? I declined that, knowing of no emergency room that treats a bruised dignity. Then he took me to lunch, I think to observe me for another hour before trusting me to get around on my own.
I am not seriously hurt (again, thankyoulord) except that dispite the abundant padding back there, I may have broken my tailbone.
And, as always, there is a lesson learned: Don’t break the good habits.