While driving from Asheville, NC down to Hilton Head, SC a couple of weeks ago I was dumbstruck by a billboard covered with a Rebel flag. Emblazoned across it in a huge swirly font were the words, "Never Forget." Those words struck my heart like a dagger filled with sadness, and I thought to myself, "Wow, someone out there is still carrying a grudge held by their ancestors more than 150 years ago."
This, of course, brought up the question, "Where in my life am I slow to change?" and "Where do I hold onto ways of thinking that no longer serve, either me or the greater good?"
There is a good reason why the protagonist of many action-adventure movies are superb martial artists. When it comes to hand-to-hand engagement, no one can compete against those who are schooled in these ancient, powerful, lightning-fast movements.
None of us really want to feel pain when we walk or run. There are times when you might enjoy a satisfying burn during a workout, and perhaps a bit of an ache the next day. But pain that limits your ability to focus or enjoy life, can be scary. “What if this doesn’t change?” “Do I need to see a doctor?” The fear makes us avoid pain, often at great cost.
I'm not Catholic, but for almost 20 years now I've celebrated the forty days and forty nights of Lent. It's a time of year when some Christians give up something for forty days to represent the forty days before the Crucifixion when Jesus went into the desert and fought off the temptations of the Devil.
When I was growing up I used to really feel for the kids that had to give up something they liked to do, or liked to eat or whatever they were most attached to. I mean, geez… six weeks is a long time to go without. But, since I've adopted this practice as an adult, I have not only seen it's value, I actually look forward to it every year.