Never Apologize for Being in The Fight

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
~Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt, 26th President of The United States

Fear not, O Zion; let not your hands grow weak. The LORD your God is in your midst, a Mighty One Who Will Save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His Love; He will exult over you with loud singing: “I will gather those of you who mourn for the festival, so that you will no longer suffer reproach. Behold, at that time I will deal with all your oppressors. And I will save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth.
~from Zephaniah, in Chapter 3 of His Oracle

For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ Who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.
~paul, The Least of The Apostles, in Galatians 2

Oh beloved, it is true

Each of us has our hang-ups. Each of us have our weaknesses. Each and every one of us have fallen short of the Glory of The G_d who designed us so like Himself. And these failures are not merely foibles, the are profound and eternal in their importance.

The broken darkness in our souls is vast, and our capacity for that darkness is nearly limitless. This darkness – while Designed to be filled to overflowing with Light – we often just fill with more of what our hang-ups, and pain falsely tell us what we need.

This is particularly (but not uniquely) true for addicts. We binge on the chemicals, foods, images, and purchases we think will fill the void. And sometimes we try to purge ourselves of our excess, but the darkness only remains – yearning to be filled with SomeThing that works.

No thing works. But we just keep chucking junk down into the hole.

We. Are. A. Mess.

But, in our failures, we can adopt a strategy of trying to rank order ourselves with others failures, and create fluid criteria that somehow ranks us “better than others.” We think it is enough, but this is incredibly dangerous, because it distracts us from the profound and eternal nature of our shortcomings and sins.

Can we see it?

Much of the problem we have is that we believe the lie that we are unique in our need. Oh, we see the shortcomings in others, but we don’t see that others have the same gaping holes in their souls that we have in ours. We feel terminally unique, so we think everyone else should straighten up their acts, but that we cannot – that darkness needs to be filled.

OH! But SomeOne sees all!

G_d not only sees our darkness, He entered into it. But not only did He enter into it, He has already overcome the realm of death and darkness and Hades with the Light of His Authority. Through the cross of Jesus, He took ALL of the darkness in each and EVERY one of us, and conquered it forever.

Even better, Jesus did not just die for us, He died as one of us. He is fully man just as He is fully G_d. He felt every shortcoming, every fear, every injustice, every disease and swallowed all of it up into His infinitely Light heart. And then… He took us down through our darkness with Him and raised us anew into an eternal Life which we can already be living.

All we must do is to stop trying to fill the darkness that has already been filled, and turn towards the One Who filled it with Himself, trusting that He alone is The One capable of the job. It really is this simple. Eternal life is available to us all – but it does require a kind of death. Death to our selfish approach. Death to our judgement and lack of forgiveness for of everyone else.

Oh! but on the other side of this catharsis comes something we never even dreamed we might be even remotely possible. Instead of us sucking ourselves into the silent isolation of our darkness, we begin to hear the song of The Warrior Mighty to Save. And even more astounding, we hear in those beautiful lyrics that the words are about US. G_d Himself has written us into the song of ongoing re-creation of the creations He Designed in His very Image.

So, are you getting flack from others about your shortcomings, failures, and sins? DO NOT apologize to those who do not understand – and who judge without authority to do so. For now, you know that your fight is going to be victorious. Light has overcome the darkness. Love has consumed and conquered the darkness and hatred within us.

Tonight is your night. Time to listen to the Song of The King of The Universe as He rejoices over you in Light and Love that will NEVER fade away.

No man must be superior to the things that are common to men. This sort of equality must be bodily and gross and comic. Not only are we all in the same boat, but we are all seasick.
~ GK Chesterton

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