I have been stuffing that old nasty rag in my mouth lately…
Ya know the one?
The one that is drenched in those toxic vapors that radiate all kinds of discouragement and defeat.
It tastes awful.
I hate when things don’t go my way.
But life is a lot about things that simply don’t go our way.
Dreams crushed. Finances strained. Relationships torn. Diseases diagnosed. Career crashing. Marriages failing. Lives lost.
Pick your poison.
Life doesn’t go our way- often.
So that old rag…
It’s soiled in the weight of life’s disappointments and oh, how they smell of rotting defeat. It can choke us, if we choose to shove it further down so deep it reaches and takes hold of our hearts. It can suffocate the very life out of us if we let it.
I’m certainly not ‘there’, but I am chewing on some mighty tarnished threads these days.
So while gnawing ferociously on one giant bite of this nastiness, I head off to get an MRI on my ankle. (Stay with me.)
I sprained it back in August, and it never healed. How you ask?
While visiting my sister’s beautiful home, we played a good ol’ game of t-ball out on her front lawn. It was the perfect summer day for a game and the perfect players chosen for such a thing… us and our kids. I carefully plotted around all the divots in the yard using additional orange cones so I wouldn’t “Sprain my ankle” and as I was running into first base off a great hit (can’t really remember the hit, but I need some kind of redeeming grace here) my foot caught one of the undetected divots and I went down.
Well played, irony.
So after months of sharp pains, pulsating aches and lingering pinches I finally went to the doctor. Hence the MRI.
While driving there, I was officially gagging on that rag after receiving more really bad news.
Getting comfy on the MRI bed, I put my headphones on to listen to my chosen ‘playlist’ they nicely offered me to drown out the blasts of sound attacks. I chose Worship Music, thinking Lord knows I need it.
And as the thundering assault of sound began and the waves of reverberation startled my heavy heart, something entirely profound gripped my rag and tore it out- leaving me to gasp and inhale freshly formed air…
My mind flashed through the last MRI I had, the one checking for cancer. Then came the flood of thoughts of people I know and the ones I don’t, who have been beaten and buried from the monster. I flashed through so many more poor souls who endure the grueling onslaught of treatments and pain and countless MRIs listening to these bombs go off as they lay still wondering what the images will find. I thought of the countless sick children, who must be terrified of this experience in a world where they never have a choice.
And then the music started to play, with the rhythmic pulsating drums going off right behind it, barely allowing the song to be heard.
But, I listened…
And something awoke in me.
I gasped. Shivered. And my eyes began to water.
And I knew.
It’s a gift.
Even the bad parts. The things that don’t go our way.
If we are here, even sucking on bitter sour rags- Moaning and groaning about our circumstances and our pain…
It’s a gift.
The low laying valleys, the high rising mountains, and each climb or fall in between.
Cherish it all. This life is to be savored.
Even the crappy parts that leave us gnawing on our rancid rags.