Saturday, January 01, 2005

My life is a marathon (in the Special Olympics)

There are several places in the Bible where life is compared to a race. A long one, I guess. A brief summery of my life shows mostly pit stops. Maybe I’m just special. In fact, I know I am. I’m as special as a whole fleet of short buses. Having an autistic sister, I’ve been to a couple of these races. They aren’t pretty. But one thing that always stuck out for me was the unabashed joy many of the contestants displayed. I want to be as joyful as they are while failing so miserably. In my race, I keep falling down. I should probably wear a helmet. I’ve ran the wrong direction several times. But I ask you: How can one face a string of failures without humor? I would be miserable all the time if I felt like I had to hang my head in shame for penance every time I screw up. Of course I repent when I’m convicted. It’s like getting up when I fall down. It’s just necessary to keep running. But what sustains the race is Joy, not sorrow. Perhaps that is why I am starting to laugh at myself more lately. Not in a demeaning way. I’ve just seen the process so often, that the ludicrous nature of my struggle is starting to amuse me. Hopefully this is a phase I’m going through because I don’t think it’s healthy. I still repent. I still recognize my failure and try to learn from it. But I’m not really feeling that bad about it any more. (Oh, I should point out… I’m talking about the small things now. Not the sins that involve hurting others. I still feel pain, and find no humor in those accidents.) So now I'm asking… Is feeling bad a necessary component of repentance? Or is it ok to simply apologize and laugh it off, like bumping into someone on a crowded dance floor? I mean, really… Who is hurt when I over-eat, catch myself looking at a hot girl the wrong way, or find myself thinking envious or selfish things? God is not damaged. I am. I’m moved further from His will. So I say sorry and move back into it… Right? I think I may be missing something here....

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