Everyone knows the Irish are master storytellers. One of my favorite Irish stories is about the man who sought entrance to the gates of Heaven. Saint Peter meets him and readily agrees to let him in, if only the man will show his scars.
“Scars?” he inquires, “I don’t have any scars.”
Saint Peter sadly shakes his head and replies, “Pity. Was there nothing worth fighting for?”
Today feels like a scar day. It is weighted down with the heaviness of living. The reflection in the mirror is contemplative and echoes the voices in my head wondering, Are you sure? You really want to go down this road? You really want to… live large? Dream big? Go for broke?
Don’t get me wrong; I think life is beautiful. One who reads my posts with any amount of regularity will know that I am a realist leaning toward optimism. Hope is always a good thing, and always worth it.
But what about the days that seem bent on stealing the hope? When the fog seems impenetrable and the way is lost and each step is a risk, when you’ve fought and fought and seem to have nothing to show for it, what then?
Then is when we fight and when we earn those scars. These are the days we do battle for what we really believe and for what we believe to be worth it. Days when it takes guts just to put your feet on the floor are the days when it is most critical. It’s easy to win when you feel like a winner; easy to come out on top when you started out most of the way there. It takes real courage to push on when you feel like you’re starting over from the bottom.
But I have to believe it’s worth it. I have to hope that someday these scars will be celebrated.
One way or the other, when I reach the end of life, I’d rather get there dirty, bedraggled, and scuffed, knowing I spent myself on people and things that are important, rather than in perfect condition, afraid to try and to dare and to risk. It’s time to put on the Kevlar, and head back out one more time.
And one more time after that.
Until we hit the end, and can show our scars with honor and celebrate the life they represent.