The Finish Line

tonight,  my evening walk produced.

nothing that’s going to change the world…or even the small pocket that i inhabit…but definitely an idea that took shape.   i will break it out in due time.   not even a tease tonight,  tho…

the great enlightenment happened in the first fifteen minutes.   then my pinball brain ADD kicked in.   my mind was going everywhere.   i couldn’t concentrate.   i couldn’t slow down.   focus was nowhere to be found.   so i just kept walking.   and my knees hurt really bad.

i got in a hurry and forgot to put on my patella straps…these special neoprene bands that wrap around the knee right below the patella,  to help create a small gap in the knee to keep bone from rubbing on bone  (where there is little or no cartilage and lots of arthritis).   hope you feel smarter,  now…

as i was on the home stretch,  i started thinking how the pain is a good thing.   not the character-building kind,  but the kind of pain you’re supposed to have when your body is simply wearing out.

look,  this is no martyrdom.   i don’t have the i’m-getting-old blues.   this is not a melodramatic,  “woe-is-me”.   far from it.   no,  it comes from the confident awareness that my life is not to be saved.   it is to be spent.

the goal of life is not to get to the end and be able to do the same things we did in our twenties and thirties.   our goal is to be used up.   i still exercise…not because i want to look good in a bathing suit  (creepy thought) or  admire my backside in a storefront window  (even creepier)…but to be strong enough to keep going.

i want to make it to the finish line,  but i have no need to look good…or even feel good…when i drag in.   this is both metaphorical,  as well as real.   hurting knees or limited shoulder range or aggravated spinal discs or poor circulation or whatever…these should really be badges of honor for a life well-spent.

the same is true for our hearts and minds,  as well.   i want my brain to be just about fizzled out by the time i reach the end.   i don’t want to be praised in my urn by people who say that my mind was sharp right up until the final out.   i would much rather have somebody stand up and say,  “wow,  his head finally exploded from all that thinking and planning and goal setting and studying and mind-wrestling he did every day!”

and i want my heart to be completely empty…drained of every bit of love and forgiveness and mercy and compassion and patience and joy and grace that i could possibly give.   i do not plan to take any with me into the great unknown.

by faith,  i believe i will be re-filled with whatever i need for the next leg of race.   new knees,  shoulders,  heart,  and  mind?   perhaps.   maybe even a nice tan and chiseled abs…

it was a good walk tonight.


8 thoughts on “The Finish Line

  1. Okay, used up, journey completed, I get it. So to all those people who make fun of me because I’m hurting somewhere, I now should tell them that I’m getting every bit of wear and tear out of this body because I want to make sure it’s all used up when I go. Okay, that’s a thought.

    Very familiar with the patella strap thingie 🙂

  2. I came home from work on Saturday and Jestin was holding this head and I asked him what was wrong and he said “The left side of my brain is bruised” Of course I was drawn in to this…”wwhhhhyyy? Did you fall on the trampeline today?” To which he replied “My right knee has been hurting so there MUST be something wrong with the left side of my brain”……there you go Mike… don’t need a patella strap….you need your brain examined 🙂

  3. sherri, sherri…you should tell the people that make fun of your pain to take a hike, or you’ll give them a little “character-building” pain of their own!

    lori, jestin is a prophet. does he need an agent?

  4. Ran my first 10k in over 12yrs last weekend. I felt alive again. I will never hoist a Lombardi or a O’brien. So running will do.
    The body was not meant to sit in front of a computer all day.

    I think your concept can be applied to everyday of our lives. Why not lay your head to rest every night knowing you expired all your resources for the day? What are you saving up for, the end? What if you get Alzheimer’s?

  5. I can remember my father working two jobs for the better part of my childhood. He was always working! Always had something going on. But he always found time to help others. Whether it was helping them with yard work, home repairs or working on their cars. He always found time.

    I can remember him coming home totally exhausted and falling into his chair and passing out (we would all fight over who got to take his boots off). Completely and totally spent.

    That is how your life is meant to be lived! Nothing saved. Nothing left to give.

  6. In typical cheeky fashion, the post reminds me of this joke:

    ‘Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways – Margarita in one hand – chocolate in the other – body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming ‘WOO HOO, What a Ride’

    Of course, booze and brownies aren’t the sustenance of the soul but the idea helps when the bones ache and the muscles twinge.

    Jesus liked a good party once in awhile.

    Did I just get an UNinvite to NPCC?

    Seriously, I am disturbed by the mannequin-look that Hollywood churns out and America has come to adore. There is so much more to life, AND being a Christian doesn’t automatically mean boring!

  7. I don’t think it is Hollywood all the time that makes believers look bad.

    I was Youtubing some music for practice and started noticing a trend on videos that corresponded with the music. Does anyone know the type of videos I am talking about?

    The majority of the videos seems to show people with their head down or crying or starving. They always show Jesus with the serious look on his face. I am sure just like we do at NP, these vids. are to get a point across during a service. If I didn’t know better I would be like “Dang Those People are downers”. Needless to say I would not be inspired.

    I wonder when a church will grow a pair and make a “inspirational” video that didn’t try to manipulate my heart. But a video that would make me smile thinking wow there is a group of people that are smiling and loving the lord and life at the same time. I am not saying do a corny skit or get some white church rapper, or tear telephone books.

    I think this still falls in the lines of live life to the fullest. Maybe? Maybe not.

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