September 20, 2009
Hooray for Half-Time!
Cheerleaders spring into action when the whistle blows half-time. While teams hit the locker room, the squad flips into formation. The funky music and their fancy moves infuse the audience with fresh hope for the game’s final outcome. Will my team get the win? When does coach call the game-changing strategy? Who runs the eye-dropping upset? Half-time—full of potential! Just as many minutes lay ahead as those that have fallen behind. It’s the shining moment when anything seems possible.
On the other hand, half-way just doesn’t sound as thrilling as half-time. “Hey, I’m half-way through War and Peace; just 700 pages to go.” When working toward a PhD, hearing “I’m Mid-way with only 5 more years of study and a dissertation to write,” sounds daunting. And no NASA astronaut wants to make it half-way to the moon. Am I right? One term leaves you wanting more, but the other overwhelms you with so much more to come.
Last week I hit my half-way chemotherapy mark. I should be optimistic. “Woo hoo, I’m half done!” But I’m having a hard time looking at three more installments with excitement. The first series have caused a level of fatigue indescribable to those who have not undergone this type of treatment. I play possum like a pro… Awake enough to hear the news on the television, but lacking the energy to open my eyes and see it, too. For a few days, things just don’t taste the same. Even drinking water leaves an after taste, something akin to morning mouth. My digestive system functions like a preview of “Alien vs. Predator.” Who’s living in my intestines and what does it want? And today my hands twinge slightly with a tingling neuropathy. That could end my beading career.
So I’m asking how to change my half-way mentality into half-time momentum. You know the glass half-full or half-empty scenario. The answer is knowing that Christianity is not a solo sport, but a team effort. My previous blog likened perseverance to running a marathon. But running alone leads to isolation and defeat. So today, I recognize my teammates. First, the strategy from my Head Coach Jesus ensures ultimate victory over sickness and sin. The course He’s marked doesn’t end in a ribbon decorated park, but at heaven’s pearly gates where there is no pain or hurt. He’s, also, enlisted fellow competitors to show me success by running ahead with endurance. I can almost hear my half-time cheerleaders rallying in the grand stands, Give me an “L!” “L!” “Give me an E!” “E” Give me a….
This is my half-time prayer, to, “take a new grip with your tired hands and stand firm on your shaky legs. Mark out a straight path for your feet. Then those who follow you, though they are weak and lame, will not stumble and fall but will become strong” (Heb. 12:12-13). I’m pretty sure I got another half-a-game in me.