Thursday, November 11, 2010
Fighting the Good Fight
It led me to wonder what, exactly, fighting the good fight means to me. The original term, fighting the good fight of faith, is fitting, because it can sometimes feel like a fight to remain in faith. Even the most faithful among us encounter times when we question all that we hold true, and those times of doubting everything that we’ve believed about our very existence can leave us deeply shaken. This is as it is meant to be, for in those times we are forced to release our preconceptions and open our hearts even more to the truth of our being.
Fighting the good fight could simply mean holding on to faith, no matter what. It might be a dogged determination, regardless of what’s happening in the world, how capable we’re feeling in the moment, or what others' opinions of us are, to remember God’s light expressing in and through all that we experience.
I read an interesting take on fighting the good fight based on the book Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho, in which Veronica apparently decides to attempt suicide in order to escape a life of every day being the same as the one before. In doing so, she damages her body enough to have only five days left to live, and regrets her decision after realizing that she had never really made any choices to fully live her life. I haven't read the book, but plan to, as I dearly loved his book, The Alchemist.
In this context, fighting the good fight is consciously choosing to fight complacence. It is deciding on a life abundantly lived, in which we accept the added risks of failure and loss in exchange for a bounty of delicious experience.
It makes me think of that fun email that comes around every now and then: “The purpose of life’s journey is not to arrive at the end with a well-preserved body, but rather to slide in sideways, completely used up, yelling, ‘What a ride!’” I like this way of thinking about fighting the good fight!
Fighting the good fight can also simply mean choosing at all times to do our best, whatever that is in the moment. For me, doing my best does include choosing faith in God’s good in all that comes to pass.
It means living in a way that creates few regrets. Fighting the good fight, and doing our best, is being someone who encourages others to do better and be better, and striving to be the kind of person who others are better for having known.
May you always fight your own good fight, and may this tool be a blessing. . .