Okay, so the last couple months, in particular, have been a challenge. It’s like God was walking around heaven and said to Satan–not the hockey player–he said, “Have you noticed Chris? He’s not as good as Job, but he’s working out and looking kind of buff and getting confidence and stuff. His butt looks almost as good as George Michael’s in that video. He’s not a total screwup any more.”
And Satan said, “Let’s not get carried away. He still roots for the Mets and the Jets.”
To which God said, “I said not a total screwup. It’s not like he’s rooting for the Browns and the Cubs.”
At which point, Satan conceded the point and then said, “But take away his working out and that part of his identity and he’ll fold up and blow away.”
To which God said, “Won’t happen. He weighs too much to blow away.”
Satan, who doesn’t like God’s sardonic humor sometimes, rolled his eyes.
“I saw that,” God said.
“You weren’t even looking at…never mind,” Satan said. “Still, take that stuff away and he’ll be a mess.”
God thought it over and then in his Morgan Freeman voice said, “Okay. You can take that away from him. But you can’t take away the Mets starting pitching. He’s gotta have something to look forward to.”
Actually, none of that happened, but it makes a good story. But I can’t work out right now and the rest of my life is a little stressful. It used to be that if I didn’t work out, I became Dr. Jeckyl. Or maybe that’s Mr. Hyde. Whichever was the angry one. I get them mixed up.
Except this time I haven’t. And while I don’t want to turn this into the Jesus blog, I feel like I need to tell <Paul Harvey voice>the rest………………………of the story</Paul Harvey voice>.
I toyed with faith through most of my life. As a cradle Catholic, I went to church for the same reason as all the other boys my age–because I had to, to try to play the NBC chimes on the xylophone thing I dinged during the Eucharistic prayer, and because it was a chance to look at girls. Especially once I went to Catholic high school.
But for whatever reason, my faith has deepened in the last few years. And I know that there’s something bigger than what’s happening now. I know I am loved with an intensity I can’t even imagine. And I know that even if I screw up, even if I fail, even if I can’t ever do another push up or complete another Tough Mudder, I am accepted.
A few weeks I quoted Vince Lombardi as saying, “Anybody can love something that is beautiful or smart or agile. But you will never know love until you can love something that isn’t beautiful, isn’t bright, or isn’t glamorous. . . . Can you accept someone for his inabilities?” It’s my experience that God can and does do that. And given that, how can I help but try to do the same.
If I never work out again, God loves me even if I’m not beautiful or smart or agile. Even if I root for the Jets. And because of that, it’ll be okay.
That’s what it means when someone says their faith gets them through.