Thursday, May 7, 2009

Jumping Hurdles

WOW! I reread my blog from last night and have to agree with the old folks who used to say..."Sleep on it. You'll wake up feeling better in the morning."
Yep! I have to agree.
Of course, this is the norm for me...As it is with any manic-depressive and/or bi-polar sufferer...Up one minute, down the next and then up again.
Doctor prescribed drugs? Forget it! Tried them, didn't like them & I stopped. Truth is, I would rather FEEL life and EXPERIENCE life with a clear head, even the downs, than be so medicated that I go through life looking through rose colored glasses and never truly feeling anything. I enjoy laughing and I can cry like a baby; I am loud when I'm happy and I'm louder when I'm not...But I'm me, 100%!
Besides, if GOD can heal the sick, give sight to the blind, raise a dead man to life, I believe HE can either heal my manic-depression or show me how to live a productive life with it!

And so I arrive at my topic for today...Jumping hurdles.

When I was about 13 I attended Hardin High School in Hardin, Texas. I didn't take Athletics because we lived something like 45 minutes away and the travel back and forth to school for extracurricular activities was completely unacceptable to my mother. So, I took P.E. and for the most part, hated it.
Actually, in my entire Jr. High and High School Career, I managed to regularly FAIL P.E.! The only thing I found fun about P.E. was that it often allowed my friends and I to smoke cigarettes and talk about sex & boys while we walked the track or hid out in the locker rooms. I hated softball, basketball and dodge ball...But I loved baseball, volley ball and track. Could never get enough of these.
In the early spring of my 13th year, our P.E. coach decided that we would run track, do the long jump and so forth. It actually turned out to be much fun for a little while, and a little freaky.
One day a classmate was doing the long jump and the rest of us were waiting our turns. She ran, jumped and just as she hit the sandbox, we all heard a sickening crack...She'd broken her femur halfway between the hip and knee! It was pitifully exciting as we all had to stand around while the ambulance was called and listen to her pain filled wails.
Anyway, along about this time, we had to run track and jump hurdles. I had never been a fast runner and didn't even know I could jump over hurdles...But one day I decided to give it a shot...And I was GOOD! I cleared every hurdle without so much as touching even one. No one had shown me how...I just ran up to it, jumped it and ran to the next.
The feeling was euphoric! Thirty-two years later I still smile at the memory. It was absolutely AWESOME, back then it was SUPER COOL!
My adrenaline was pumping so high that once I'd finished the run, I ran back up the track and did it all over again. For several days I actually looked forward to P.E., the first and last time that ever happened! I never touched a single hurdle in all those jumps.
But the last day I ever jumped hurdles, I was on my second run when the coach yelled at me to stop. He then begin to explain that I was jumping the hurdles wrong and showed me "how" I was supposed to jump them. I argued with him, because I am an arguer, and I told him that I couldn't do it his way. He became angry with me...I still have that effect on a large majority of the population...I asked him why it mattered? (I was in P.E., not Athletics and I was being physically active.)His face got red and he cursed...In the 70's teachers could curse without fear of losing their jobs.
So, I catered to his will and did as he both showed and told me to do...And on the first hurdle, doing it the "right way" permanently injured my back, as well as knocking the hurdle over as I fell! I pulled muscles that, to this day, will still go into spasms and render me incapable of walking without intense pain.
I have never been able to jump another hurdle!

In my life I have found that I truly am my best adviser and usually, my best friend. Oh, sure, I can be my own worst enemy if I don't control my temper or impatience. But when it comes to making decisions and "jumping hurdles", I have found that following my own heart always works out for the best. Following someone else's advise has very often gotten me into much trouble, caused me much heartache and left me with years of remorse and regret.
I am safest and happiest being my unconventional self and making my own unconventional decisions and jumping all of life's hurdles in my very own unconventional way.
I'm sure that the way I do things is not acceptable to the general population, but truth is, I DON'T CARE!
I'm not running for any political office or trying to win any popularity contests. I'm just getting through each day, jumping over each hurdle and trying to make it to the end of the track by following my own heart.

And disappointments? You bet! They are everywhere. But every time I do come up against a hurdle that seems too high to clear, I keep trying. I may fall and be bruised, battered and maybe even bloody, but I am determined and though tired, I will not stop. I may have to go back a dozen times to get another running start at it, but one of these days I know that I'll either clear that sucker or knock the damned thing over and head on to the next hurdle.
But I must persist in my own way, strange as it might seem.

In the bible Jesus tells a parable about a widow. Luke 18: 1-8. You can read it for yourself, but the jest of it is that this widow did not give up. She was persistent and devoted to her cause, and eventually she got what she had been asking for. She didn't do it the way others might, but she followed her own heart and was eventually heard.
She kept running at that hurdle and eventually she cleared it!

My advise to you and myself is to always follow your heart...If you have Jesus living there, you'll never go wrong. Do not become complacent or lazy and do not give up. You can rest and regroup, but keep pressing on.

Hurdles are made to be jumped and very often, obstacles are just GOD's way of challenging you to persist.
Just remember...You do not have to do anything the way someone else thinks you should...Chances are, that person couldn't clear a snail!

GOD's mercy and strength do abound, and my cup runneth over with HIS blessings.

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