how the story ends

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“Oh man, I had such a great session on Friday”! Chris said, genuinely excited about the thrill of training in martial arts. “I can’t believe you’re still doin’ it”? was my reply. Chris, whom I’ve known for over a decade and trained with in the gym on and off in that time continued sharing what he knew I could relate to, “I can’t get hit yet, so I’m kinda going through the motions.”

“Eye surgery right”? I asked. “Yeah, I had cataracts removed in both eyes, this one twice,” he said pointing to his dilated eyeball. “You know what’s gonna happen right”? I asked. Chris shrugged his big shoulders chuckling as I gave him the prophecy of his future, “You’re gonna get better, you’re gonna be training at full speed soon, and then you’re gonna get hurt”! -“Probably bad”! … “You know how this story ends – don’t you”?

Chris smiled again, I know that smile, the smile that means, “You’re right, but I’m not listening anyway”! I’ve smiled that smile more than once in my life… I continued to try to talk sense into my friend, “C-mon Man”! – “You know how this story ends don’t you”?

Chris kept smiling, “I do”…. “You’re right”…. “But I know how lots of books or stories end”…. “But I read or watch them anyway”!!! It was my turn to smile as Chris continued, “Don’t you”? – “Don’t you read a story sometimes and already know the ending”? I paused, “I do”! – “You got me there”! I agreed laughing and added, “But not as often as I used to”!

Chris and I know the ending to his story; he’ll get hurt again, you always do, and the final curtain will draw closed on his days of reckless youth…

I realized as I talked to Chris that it’s not so different for any of us in this life. Everyone has done something we knew might not turn out well, but chose to do it anyway. We’re gamblers at heart.. we know of risks and yet take them anyway, even when we know good and well the painful consequences.

It doesn’t have to be training, it can be any aspect of our lives. We choose to show up late too often, we choose to associate beyond what we should with the wrong people. We share or gossip with them more than we know is prudent. We eat too much, we drink too much, we don’t drink enough water.

We can watch too much TV, spend too much time on social networking. We tend to let our kids get away with things they shouldn’t because it’s easier. We avoid reading The Word… the list goes on and on. We know the ending of all of those books, we know there will be consequences for our choices or lack of self-discipline… and yet we all do it anyway… Why?

We all want the best for our lives, we just lack the strength of character to pull it off. “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak”… Following the rules to do the right or prudent thing won’t even solve our problems, and what gives us a little enjoyment is hard to give up.

I’ve learned there is a time for all things to come to an end, nothing lasts forever in this world. Knowing the ending of some of the chapters of our lives and the consequences for our actions is similar to the wisdom we’re all given regarding our life; the wisdom to know how the story ends and if our name will be listed in the only book that matters…

Kinda evens things out for all the dumb things we do while we’re here…