Monday, July 7, 2014
Fighting the Good Fight
From time to time most of us have probably heard snatches of the theme song from the Rocky Balboa movies inside our hearts and heads. Perhaps we've envisioned favorite scenes from these movies. The first two films in this particular series were released when I was a teenager. (Yes, gasp, I'm that old . . . sigh . . .)
They were so popular, that is possibly why I've occasionally borrowed strength from the storyline(s).
Many of us love underdog stories. We love it when the beleaguered protagonist manages to overcome tremendous obstacles to succeed. Cheering the hero on gives us hope that we will be able to do likewise when we face challenges of our own.
There have been numerous days when I have felt very much like the character, Rocky, after a fierce battle in the ring. My body and I have gone the rounds on many occasions, thanks in part to the Type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis that I deal with on a daily basis. One lovely day, I actually resembled Rocky after a nasty fight when I experienced an extremely bad episode with hives. My face looked so awful, little children cried. Fortunately this adventure took place when I was out of town, so the only people who witnessed this event were close family members. They were so alarmed, they didn't mock me until much later, after I survived that hazardous incident.
Emotionally, there have been days when I have very much felt like I have hit the mat inside Rocky's turbulent ring. Heartbreaking trials, like the death of a loved one, rip you apart like nothing else. It is tempting to not move, to remain face-down on the mat and ignore the audience that is trying to cheer you on. After all, they're not the ones dealing with overwhelming pain. They don't understand how hard and horrible it is--or so we reason with ourselves as we delve into self-pity mode. We convince ourselves that if we stand back up, life is just going to knock us down again. Then that annoying little theme song resurfaces. We've all heard it. Dadada . . . dadada . . . dadada . . . dadada.
I will admit there are times when I've tried to block that silly song, but to no avail. Eventually, one of my toes takes on a life of its own and begins to tap in time to the silent music. When that happens, I know it's only a matter of time before the rest of my body will begin to join in. Suddenly, I'm up on my knees. Then I stagger to my feet . . . and often get hit so hard, I find myself back in a prone position on the mat, whimpering.
The process of rising to meet my challenger head on often takes a long time. But there is something inside of me that usually doesn't let me give up. Like Rocky, I slowly rise to my feet, and beg for more. "C'mon, Life! Is that that best you can do? Is that all you've got? Bring it! You heard me . . . c'mon . . . take your best shot! That didn't hurt . . . okay . . . maybe it did . . . but I'm not giving up! Do you hear me? I'm not going away! No matter how many times you knock me down, I'll get back up! Because that's the kind of person I am! I wasn't sent to this earth to fail!!! I will eventually win this match!
That is my hope in mortal mode--that I will continue to be as stubborn as Rocky. It is my prayer that I will always remember how important it is to never give up. Our Elder Brother is the supreme example of how to face difficult times. He has given us all of the hope in the world--but it is up to us how we fight our individual battles. May we always rise to the occasion. ;)