Always looking for a fight

I shop the “scratch and dent” area first …
knowing there is value in the wounded.
I will pick up an item off the side of the road …
knowing that a little tender loving care can put that treasure back into good use.
I will take the product with the rumpled package off the shelf
and choose to purchase it from the store
over the item that is still pristine and neatly wrapped …
simply because I know it is less desirable to most shoppers.

I see this tendency to gravitate towards the difficult
when I run, as well.
I prefer the hills … the push … the work.

I love running UP stairs. I actually look for stairs to conquer.

And when riding my bike, the downhill ride feels out of control for me.
Others love the “wheeeeeee” moment of fast travel down an incline …
I find myself braking when my speedometer tips over the 31mph point.
MY favorite part of the hill is the intentional, difficult work
of each.revolution.of.the.pedals
as I push my way UP the hill.

I have given this much thought and have come to realize
that this passion is because I know in my head
that the w.o.r.k … the difficult and taxing
is when I am broken down.

Do you understand the principle behind building muscle? When you push yourself physically, your muscle strands will tear or break. When you find yourself sore after a day of exertion, you are experiencing the cries of your broken muscle fibers. As your body repairs itself, those strands will actually be slightly larger than they were before exercise. This growth – tearing down and building up –  is what causes your body to become more muscular. So, in reality, the tearing down of your muscles is a GOOD thing … because it stirs growth and strengthening or your body.

This principle applies to every area of our lives …
though the physical process is the only one that works
with or without our intentional focus.
Your body will repair itself (if you are in fairly good health)
whether you think about it or not.

Like Jesus spoke in parables, paralleling the spiritual and physical worlds, God convicts and teaches me through similar daily events.

There is a parallel in the spiritual world … but health is much more important here.

Simply living life brings with it injury and wounds of the emotions and the spirit.
In the same way that the seasons have order, so is there order in the emotional and spiritual world.
Grieving, for example, involves: shock/denial, pain/guilt, anger/blame, sadness/depression, acceptance/moving on.
Some people go through these steps in a slightly different order …
some people work through one quickly and hang onto another for years.
But, for the most part, these are the steps involved in the grieving process.

Being able to look at your pain is of utmost important to the healing process.
Some people are incredibly uncomfortable with this
but … for some reason, I embrace it.
It is an important factor in health.
And I want to be healthy … and strong.
All this examination and work … takes time. Yes, life takes time.

In some friendships,
I have gotten frustrated because I want to talk things through
but …  my friend won’t engage.
Eventually, I came to word it this way about one particular friend
whom I should have been deeply intimate but wouldn’t talk ….
“I can’t get a good argument out of him.”

I used to wonder, “WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?” 
It’s been such a wonderful to thing to realize …
there is NOTHING wrong with me.
I am simply a digger … an investigator …
I want to figure out the “why” so I can understand.
Just because my friend and I operated differently,
doesn’t meant that either of us is “wrong!”
There is nothing wrong with me … OR him … we’re just different.
What freedom!

In the past several years, I have come to realize that
I.look.for.struggle.
I.desire.the.work.in.relationships.
I.seek.out.the.tough.stuff.  

I search for the one in the crowd who is in need of a boost ….
and I do my best to lift them up.
My ears are in tune to the one who says,
“I would like to exercise …. but ….”
I try to uncover the source of their hesitation
and encourage them to overcome that
and get moving.
I have loved the teenage years with each of my children …
because those are the years of intensity.
I choose to “go deep” in conversation fairly quickly …
although it’s often “work.”   THAT is where the richness, density and depth are found.

And so, yes, I am always looking for a fight. I’m searching for worth and value in every relationship. I am willing to fight and struggle through the bumps and potholes in a friendship as long as I do not find myself attacked for my tenacity and accepted for who I am.  I am willing to stick it out and struggle through the tough stuff … even when things get rough. Relationships are messy … and people are worth it.

What about you? Are you a “fighter” married to or the parent of a “peace-keeper” that avoids confrontation … maybe because it’s too painful for them?  Have you ever wondered, “What is wrong with ME?”  Nothing is wrong with you, my friend, if you’re fighting for the right things and doing it in the right way (a sometimes confusing distinction). Unless you are being attacked for being yourself  …  stick it out! Be encouraged. Don’t give up. Relationships are messy, but people are worth it. If your tactic has been refused, find another way to love that person. Figure out their language and love them where they are. But, don’t quit. Don’t give up. Even if the final outcome in your relationship isn’t as you had hoped and prayed, you will know that you did your best and you fought for them ’til the end.

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4 thoughts on “Always looking for a fight

  1. We all need to be pruned (John 15:1-2). It’s a good thing every time but it’s painful in the process. There is a reason, dear friend, that those that know you – really know you, are totally devoted to you. You invest yourself in us in ways that most aren’t willing to and you do it because it is worth it to YOU! Thanks for your investment in me, even though we don’t get to celebrate that investment very much just think how fun Heaven is gonna be. I can’t wait to see all the people that will run to give you hugs because you invested in them as well. You are a golden friend. One of great worth beyond imagination. One that the definition of friend is based on. I love you

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