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.