Sometimes I think the secret to a good and fulfilling life is simply that: rising every time you fall.
It's as true for the entrepreneur pursuing profit as it is for the alcoholic trying to stay sober. As true for the surgeon making life-and-death decisions as it is for the child learning to ride a bike. We all fall - we all fail - sooner or later. It's what we do afterward that shows our character.
Most people who seriously attempt to follow the spiritual path take on one or more disciplines: structured prayer time, charitable giving, meditation, retreats, self-examination, study of scripture, fasting, worship. Sticking with a discipline adds depth and substance to your spirituality.
But often our good intentions go the way of New Year's resolutions, and what the hymn writer called the "sweet hour of prayer" becomes 10 seconds of "Now I lay me down to sleep."
Sometimes a particular discipline needs to be set aside for a time, either because it has become unrelentingly dull and meaningless or because you're making it into an idol, a substitute for God. But more often you simply need to rise, shake off the dust and take it up again.
When I do this, I invariably find it to be a happy homecoming, not a dreary duty.