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Tobacco Tuesday – 4/16/13

April 16, 2013

Back in Junior High when I played basketball, I used cry whenever I had a bad game. Yep, I was that guy. I would stand in the huddle, or sit in the car on the way home and bawl my eyes out. I couldn’t help it, cause I wasn’t living up to my own expectations, which were ridiculously high and often unrealistic. There was so much pressure I was putting on myself, I was blinded from the reality of basketball – that no one is perfect and no one fully realizes his or her potential or else there would be no point in playing any more.

I realized that I still do this but with (slightly) less bawling. I often put too much pressure on myself to be perfect and so when I fail, I feel devastated to the point where I don’t want to try any more. Because of this, I end up getting in these modes where I’m always looking over my shoulder, just waiting for something bad to happen, for some kind of karma to catch back up with me. I guess it’s what I feel like I deserve.

But, in doing this, I forget about the whole meaning of grace. It is not bought by actions, it has already been paid for. We are all even, and I am no better or worse than anyone else. I’m not even better than whoever it was who did that terrible bombing yesterday in Boston. Sure, that was a horrible and evil act, but whoever placed those bombs there needs grace just as much as I do. And I need grace just as much as him or her. We’re all broken at the knees and no one is excluded from this.

And so, we can live with a sense of freedom. We can devote ourselves to try and do good, but have to recognize we are incapable of perfect, so when we fall short of perfect over and over and over again, there is no pressure. We are humbled and joyful for what we are able to achieve, rather than disappointed in what we aren’t. This is what gives us the fire to work harder. Like when Lebron James failed to lead his team to a championship his first year with the Heat. He worked harder than ever before that next year and just look where he is now. The pressure has been lifted.

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