Lessons for the week:
1. How to take a punch.
2. How not to get hit.
Even if you’re not into boxing, these are good life lessons to consider. Evasion trumps Excedrin every time in my book, so I tend to favor the latter. None the less, we practiced both last week.
Two things stand out in my mind from our training sessions. One is the kidney shot that felt like the end of my life, and the other is the sobering instruction on combination punches.
“Don’t get hit with the first punch. Because it’s not gonna be just one…the second, third, and fourth are coming right behind it. If you get hit with a three or four punch combination, you’re done. Even getting hit with a few hay-makers spread throughout the duration of the fight is better than getting hit consecutively. Successive punches are the most devastating. You will fall.”
Before the words even finished leaving Coach’s mouth, the concept was resonating in my heart with a vengeance. If there’s one lesson I’ve learned the hard way it is that it does not matter how strong you are – if you take one blow after another without recovery time – be it in life or in the ring – you are going down hard eventually. No one can stand strong forever under that kind of attack.
I read Job for the better part of last year. I studied his life in depth. I desperately wanted to understand the reaction of a godly man to consecutive, devastating, combination blows to his life. If there was ever a right reaction, Job’s was probably as close as it comes. And I guess what it came down to in the end was the revelation of his utter inability to change or control anything – despite his diligence; despite his discipline; despite his strength; despite his goodness; despite his work; despite his earnestness; despite his prayers – despite all he had done right. It all came down to dependence upon that which he could not see, hear, or, for quite a time, even find at all. That’s one way to eliminate a God complex now isn’t it? Right.
Perhaps boxing is the same. I can’t say for sure. I’ve never been bloody and beaten inside the ring yet. But I have in life. So, perhaps, in the end, when you’re spent but still with several rounds to go, perhaps that’s when you learn to depend on someone outside yourself. Maybe that’s when all the voices stop, all the second guessing subsides, all the questions cease to matter, and you finally begin to truly hear the only one who’s really in your corner anyway. Maybe that’s when real trust is born.
Ideally, don’t get hit with the first punch. Practically, train by taking some I-feel-like-I-just-got-hit-by-a-truck taps from your trainer. Realistically, learn who is really in your corner and how to trust him even when life’s devastating combinations have made you blind, deaf, and dumb to everything you thought you knew. Perhaps that is where he is truly found.
Though he slay me, I will hope in him;
yet I will argue my ways to his face. ~Job 13:15