Longboarding, Vince Lombardi, and a Confessional

Growing up, I had this plaque that had Vince Lombardi’s quote saying “It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get back up.” I remember receiving that gift and really being hit hard by it. As with any gift you receive in your childhood years, you forget about it and it collects dust until one day you get some nostalgia and go under your bed, or in my case, a box in the attic. I have recently seen this quote twice in the past 3 weeks or so and it reminds me to that no matter where I am in my journey, it can always be worse as well as better.

A few weeks back, I bought myself a nice long board. This purchase may have been one of my top 5 purchases ever in my life. So, with my new long board, a friend and I went cruising around campus for the first time ever in my life. My friend took me to one of the steepest hills on campus and asked if I was comfortable riding. With all the testosterone pumping through my veins, I told him of course and we were off! About a quarter of the way down this mountain (that’s what it seemed like), my board started shaking violently underneath my feet and I started doubting my abilities. So I did what anybody would do in my situation…

I bailed.

Hardcore.

I jumped off the board and rolled all the way down this gravel filled hill. This happened about 3 weeks ago, and I still have the burns on my forearm, knee, and shoulder to prove it. My friend saw me bail, came to make sure I was okay, and asked if I wanted to continue skating.

Honestly, my first thought was HECK NO. I’m just going to go sell my long board! But then, I was reminded of Vince saying, “It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get back up.” So I got back up and continued to board with bloody knee and all, and I finished without falling again.

How relevant is this to our spiritual lives? When we feel that the devil has knocked us down and we are so far away from God and feel that we cannot ever get back on the path of righteousness, we must go back to the confessional.

That’s the beauty of Reconciliation: no matter how far away from God we feel we are, we are truly only a confessional away.  In this sacrament we have to have the humility and courage to tell our Creator that we have sinned and that we are truly sorry. Last year, I took advantage of the opportunity and went to Confession every other week. There was a certain time when I felt like I kept committing the same exact sins, and I was beating myself up for that. When I told the priest, he was filled with so much emotion it seemed as if he was crying and told me that God loves me. Everyone has heard that phrase before, but when a priest is on the verge of tears saying that God loves you, it hits home, no matter what sin you may commit.  It was during that time at the confessional when I realized without a doubt that God forgives everything.

Every day we have the chance to “get back up” in our relationship with God.  Everyday is a conversion.  No matter what happened yesterday, or a week ago, remember that everyday is a chance to show people God’s love.

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