Sunday, February 6, 2011

I can't believe God would forgive him...

I was talking with my cousin the other day about how difficult it can be to accept the idea that any of us, even those generally considered "unsavory" are up for a chance at salvation. It's been one of those concepts I've always somewhat superficially accepted under the canopy of "God is good...why not?", but never really internalized.

I was reminded a few days ago after reading Christians' harsh and condemning reactions to MMA fighter, Vitor Belfort's recent discussions on his relationship with God.
Check the fight shorts

I've mentioned it before, but my life has been very much changed by picking up the practice of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (the grounded, less punch-ful part of what you see in mixed martial arts matches.)...socially, physically, emotionally...all kinds of little and big changes that have completely taken me by surprise.

So yeah...I'm likely testing for my blue belt some time this year. Not to go too deep into the ranking system, but blue belt...generally takes about a year to two years of regular practice to achieve and is the point where you really start training the art. When I started, blue belts were super human to me...they could do such amazing things. I honestly never even considered wearing one, I just kept coming to class and all the guys (and ladies) kept encouraging slow, winded, falling and failing, inflexible me to keep pushing.

As it gets closer, I've found myself wondering if I REALLY deserve to wear one...I mean...there are guys (life long wrestlers, former football players, weight lifters) that wear the same blue color and could DEMOLISH me if they wanted. How am I allowed to put on this same belt as those who breezed through life as a white belt while I'm still winded and crouched after sparring?

One of the great things about the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is that they take just about anyone who walks (or rolls) through the door. 300lbs over weight? Come on in! 90lb female? You too! Blind? Yep! (that's my school in the video...hee:) Yes, you're evaluated based on pure, applied skill, but the person you were when you first stepped onto the mats is also taken into account. I totally get that now. It's a hard, complex sport, but it takes more courage to keep showing up if you're not "a natural".

As a Christian who spent most of their lives with the values, customs and behaviors that characterize (but doesn't define) Christians drilled into them from a young age, it can be easy to forget or ignore how far some people have to travel in their spiritual development to get to get to where they are.

It's essential to remember though, that the reward is not our call to make.

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