During supper I would hear the cars pull up, the doors slam, and the fans seat themselves. I could watch the bleachers start to fill up through our dinning room window. The lights would turn on and fall onto my eager face. When supper was done I would be excused and given permission to go watch the game. Eagerly I would cross the street and climb over the back fence. The football game, however, was not my main goal. There in the back corner was a patch of grass large enough for the grade school and junior high boys of the public school to assembled. There they played kill the carrier and I would join them.
Sometime during my grade school years my tomboy side came out and I wanted to be the girl to play football. There were two problems standing in my way. One was the fact that they probably would not allow a girl on the team. The second, I went to the Christian school and we only had a soccer team. The public school had the football team. So I settled with playing kill the carrier with the boys, who would soon grow up to be guys, the guys on the football team.
In college I heard that there was a rugby club forming. I was so excited. For three years we struggled to get a girl’s team going, but in the meantime I practiced with the guys. For three years my life was guys rugby. I practiced, I scrimmaged, but I could not play in their games. Again I was stuck playing only a version, playing kill the carrier, and watching the real deal from the sidelines. It took three years, and a few other dedicated girls, but during my senior year we finally got a team up and running. When I finally put on my own jersey and walked out onto the field, I was ecstatic. I ran, I passed, I tackled, I was tackled, I scored, I bled, I hurt, I celebrated, I succeeded. Too soon it was over, I graduated from college and moved to Fargo.
Now, I go to kickboxing class. Some may call me an athlete, others say I am a tomboy, even a few saw I am “butch”. I know the truth. I like to be pushed and to push myself. I like the sport I play to resemble real life, so there has to be some pain. There is excitement and failure, there is success and agony, there are times where I strike and times where I am struck at.
I am a warrior. My body has always wanted to be and now I am realizing that my spirit longs to be one too. I have chosen to ignore the spiritual warfare and the large pains of the world. I have never pushed my spirit and my faith to its limit. I never let my spirit and faith be pushed. It is time for that to change. It is time to train my soul, my heart, and my spirit as well as my legs, my arms, and my abs.
Sure, I went to church, to Sunday school, I memorized my verses and my Heidelberg Catechism. In high school it was youth group every other Wednesday night and Catechism class on the opposing Wednesday. I went to a Christian college. I sang in church, I played my flute in church, I took communion. I grew some, I experience some, I loved God and He loved me. I have been saved since age 5. All of it was good, all of it was a stepping stone, all of it was just a kill the carrier version of the real deal. I am now trying to prepare for the real game.
James and I run together. Usually my phone comes with, blasting music to help energize me. Last night, we tried something different. Last night I pulled up biblegateway.com and looked up a verse that I had felt called to a week or so ago. Psalm 119. Our goal is to use our running time to memorize this chapter, all 176 verses of it.
Now, just memorizing verses is not going to help me be a better me. It is not, in and of itself, going to help my faith to grow. As an athlete I have learned that to be truly great, you must learn proper technique. I can go into my gym, put my gloves on, and go to town on the punching bag, but if I just flail, if I just try to power through, if I just go to town, I will walk away with sore wrists, arms, and fists. If I do not use proper technique, my attack is going to be weak and I will suffer from it. Reading the Bible, memorizing verses, this is all apart of learning spiritual technique that will help me through, but I must also put it into practice.
1 Blessed are those whose ways are blameless,
who walk according to the law of the Lord.
2 Blessed are those who keep his statutes
and seek him with all their heart—
3 they do no wrong
but follow his ways.
4 You have laid down precepts
that are to be fully obeyed.
During our one mile run, we were able to memorize through verse 4, only 172 more verses to go. So ready or not, here I come.