When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.Proverbs 11:2
Last Sunday was extra special because not only was it Easter but it was also a day when we joined another family on a trip to Bua Tong Waterfalls in Sri Phum. Chiang Mai and its neighboring districts have many waterfalls but Bua Tong is my favorite. What makes it unique is how we’re able to climb up and down the falls easily. The spring water is rich in calcium carbonate which deposits on the stream bed and then calcifies to lime stone. The result is a natural water park. It’s refreshing to just sit and chill as the water cascades around you, or to adroitly clamber it up or down. Some parts of the falls are quite steep and challenging. Other parts are exposed to the sunlight so moss and algae become part of the stream bed. My story revolves around the part where the moss and algae are.
When we got to the place, I noticed that our group already claimed a picnic spot so I deposited my stuff and soon Ethan and I headed out towards the falls. The sign says the 3rd part of it is about 250 meters below. We set out to conquer. As we approached the falls, I remembered from past experience that the slipperiest is just the beginning part. I cautioned Ethan to be careful. He wanted to climb down first but I said since he was only 10 and I was 40 years older, I should go first. Before I did, I prayed for him and his safety. In my prayer, I asked for him to be kept safe and not to get hurt. At that point, I obviously thought I was beyond slipping. He actually recommended that we use the stairs to get down but I said “No!”. Stairs were for those who didn’t know how to climb down properly. I obviously believed we didn’t belong in that category!
I gingerly approached the first rock and noticed that for lime stones, none of them looked very white. Almost all of them were green. Green? Swoosh, slipped my right foot as my rear behind quickly followed. I noticed that I was promptly on my back and sliding speedily downhill but none of my body parts seemed to be connecting to the rocks beneath me. I felt like a hovercraft, barely touching the surface it glided on. I planted my right elbow (OUCH #1) which flipped my body over, KERPLUNK! Still, I kept sliding. I felt like a fish but I had no scales! Thankfully, the tree that I initially spied as a stopping point when I planned our descent was soon to my left. I reached out my left hand and thankfully was able to grab it. I soon felt my knee hit a rock (OUCH #2) and realized as I slowed to a stop that my shirt folded under me, exposing my stomach (OUCH #3). All the lower parts of me from the chest down were now gripping the ground, happy to have found contact. Yes, terra firma, “The less firma, the more terra (terror)” as our pastor would often joke.
I hastily pulled my shirt down to hide my belly and called out to Ethan to start his descent. He was very worried and asked if I was all right. As I felt my throbbing elbow and knee, I told him I was hurting but was okay. I also swallowed my pride and humiliation. When he got to me, I asked him to pray for my safety. I realized even more that I really cannot do anything without God. How proud I was, but I was glad to be humbled.
I actually feel as I write this that just as Jesus rose from the dead that day, I rose from mine. I seriously could easily have been killed. At the very least, had I not been graciously saved, I would have come out of that with several broken bones. Grace is that I’m alive, healthy, and writing this with not much pain left in my body. I have a new lease in my life. May I live to glorify Him well.
Nothing as exciting as that happened for the rest of our day. On our next climb down, Ethan and I used the stairs. =) On my last solo descent, I took the same route but being much wiser, stepped on the sides where there was hardly any water. Thank you, Lord, for wisdom and lessons learned.
I’ll end with two statements from Ethan which really tickled my heart. We did a role reversal as he made sure mom was safe as we continued our climb down. He said many reassuring words but the ones that stood out were: “You’re doing good Mom, you’ve got a lot of energy for a 49 year old!” At another time, he said, “Be careful, believe in your feet!” Sometimes, I wonder about that kid. He is such a blessing. =)