A couple of weeks ago some friends came in to town to visit for the weekend. While they were here we did a number of activities, but the event that took up most of our time was a game called frisbee golf. It was a mere suggestion at first; some time to get out in the sun and have a little friendly competition. But after the first nine holes, this friendly competition had run its course. It was time to raise the stakes a bit to keep it exciting. My friend always wants to raise the stakes. So we placed a small wager on the game. The two top winners would have bought for them a Blizzard from DQ by the bottom two losers. Now, for most, this is not such a big deal. Three dollars and fifty cents is what most can find buried within the crevice of their front driver side bucket seat. But for two of us in the group, who have just graduated college and are getting paid very little on top of a mound of debt that haunts us with every swipe of the card, it was a bit more serious. Nonetheless, we all agreed and proceeded. Now, at this point in the story I am done writing blanket statements that apply to the group as a whole. From this point on the feelings expressed come straight from within my penny pinching self.
It was true; this little wager did make the game more intense. With every toss of the Frisbee I could see the numbers in my dwindling bank account grow smaller. There was more on the line now than just ‘fun with friends.’ Now things were serious, in a very small but, yet surprisingly large, kind of way. This wager became a stress, a struggle, a tension; but it was because of this wager that I concentrated that much more before every throw. It is because of this wager that I would celebrate every toss that allowed me to pull ahead, and morn all those that drug me further behind. This game, or should I now say burden, brought out the best in my frisbee golf game which otherwise would not have been taken seriously. If it were not for this wager I would have skated through every hole without thinking of technique, form, angles, or even the scoreboard. And without this wager, the sweet cool taste of that victorious blizzard would have been bland and boring. It would have not quenched my overheated under hydrated body, but would have converted what should be a delicious treat into an offensive reminder of failure and financial ruin.
What would we do in life without struggle?
It is not until the steaks have been raised that we truly become men, or women, of God. It is not until we have everything to loose that we truly appreciate what we have gained. Pain is faith. Struggle is growth. Burdens are understanding.