November 13, 2019

Forgiveness Revisited

By Barry Rudesill

For some time, the thought of “Forgiveness” has been in my head. Maybe it’s because it was the first class we ever wrote for The Trek. Maybe it’s because I still think that forgiveness is the key to revising the past. Maybe it’s because I need to work more on it, myself. Or, maybe it’s because I read a quote recently that brought it to mind:

Let us forgive each other – only then will we live in peace.”
- Leo Tolstoy
How important is forgiveness in our lives? Let me propose a game that will help me to explain it.

We’re going to have a race. Simple, right? Well, let’s make it more exciting, shall we? This race is a steeplechase, which means that we have to jump over obstacles, avoid hazards, not fall into the water/mud, etc. That will certainly make it much more interesting. Oh, and just to make it more “realistic”, we’ll have each of us role-model forgiveness in our lives.

You get to role-model what living WITHOUT forgiveness looks like! (So good of you to volunteer!) To do this:

  • I’m going to give you a backpack filled with sand – it weighs about 50 pounds.
  • I’m going to give you horse-blinders so you can only see what’s right in front of your nose.
  • Finally, you have to run the whole thing backwards at a sprint. (Remember, this is a race!)

Meanwhile, I’ll role-model what living WITH forgiveness looks like! (Hey, somebody has to do it!) I get to face forward, see the course laid out before me, and get an idea of what the obstacles in my path look like before I get there.

Are you ready to race?

How many of you think this sounds...dangerous? I mean, just because you’re weighed down by what’s behind you, you’re locked in to a single point of view, and you’re focused only on what’s behind you while you trying to move forward, what could possibly go wrong? (I’m certified in Wilderness First Aid and CPR for the Professional Rescuer! Do NOT make me use it!) Most of you would NEVER run a race like that. Why? Because the possibility of getting hurt is simply too great, right?

But while we would never run a race like this, there are many people who try to live their lives like this! They spend all of their time focused on what lies behind them, weighed down by past that they cannot put down. They can’t look around and see a different view or even find the path to move forward. Why?

Because they are unwilling to forgive the past and look to the future!

Today, take a look at your life. Are there things that you’re holding onto that are slowing you down; events from your past that are still hurting you, still tripping you up, and that keep you focused on the past? If so, then maybe you need to take another look at forgiveness. Just my two cents worth...

We hope you enjoy your journey!

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