I saw a meme on Facebook which reminded me how we should live our lives; it said: “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming ‘Wow! What a Ride!'”

However you choose to live, whether playing it safe or not, chances are you will get to the finish line limping and scarred anyway – that’s pretty much unavoidable. But there are two distinct ways you will get those scars and injuries:

1- By just bracing against what is thrown at you and/or playing it ultra safe. By the way, you will still get your share of pain and scars living like this. You might get less scars and avoid limping, but you will nonetheless suffer pain because such is the lot reserved to all who breathe. Your pain, if you choose to live this way, will be the pain of regret. Your scars will be those of self-preservation and just a sad reminder of your suffering.

2- By taking risks, going at it with all you’ve got – living fully and pushing through your fears. Now, mind you, you could get more scars that way – maybe. However, those scars will be worn as badges of honor. You will have chosen the pain of discipline and risk over the pain of regret. That’s living fully, and dying empty.

You see, no matter how you choose to live, life will hurt you. If you try to avoid this hurt by avoiding the risk of failure and justifying it using excuses, you are still getting hurt. The problem with this is that you’re only hurting your self. This is psychological self-mutilation. The pain of regret is so much heavier to bear than the pain of discipline and courage to pursue your dreams.

We’re all pretty much banged up when we reach the finish line – but it’s so much better to choose your scars than to suffer them haphazardly. Our scars and infirmities are life’s way of decorating our valor. They serve to remind us how much we have survived to get where we are. Those memories can be of bravery through facing adversity head on… or just plain pain.

Our scars and infirmities also serve to humble us. Our scars take away some of our haughtiness when we look in the mirror. Our limping serves to slow us down when we try to go too fast. Always go as a fast as you can, but always make sure you go at a speed you can handle too.

I saw another meme on Facebook which pictured an old lion full of scars in his face; the caption read: “Never be ashamed of your scars, they only serve to remind you that you were stronger than whatever tried to kill you.”

May you reach the kingdom limping and scarred, shouting “WOW! What a ride”, and hearing back: “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

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