When I was in high school, there wasn’t a whole lot to do on a small town Friday night in the summer. There were only a couple of theaters, the internet hadn’t been invented yet, all that was on TV were reruns, and cell phones? Well ………… they were only something that Star Trek aficionados dreamed about.
So what does a group of bored teenaged boys do in the middle of summer vacation? We were good at inventing trouble; one version of that was to have an egg war. And I was just the right guy to supply the ammunition.
My dad owned an egg processing plant. Just as you would expect, there were “seconds” in the egg business just like all industries. These were eggs that weren’t good enough to go to market but still edible. My dad would bring some home for us to use in the kitchen but there are only so many eggs you can eat. So he would usually have a case or two of these eggs stacked in his 10ft X 30ft walk-in cooler.
A bunch of us guys would don our darkest clothing and mark off an area of woods that was considered “in bounds.” I would supply the eggs. We would fill our pockets with the very delicate weapons and it was every man for himself. Okay, I know it sounds like a silly game. But if you close you eyes and imagine for a moment, hiding in the dark, trying not to be heard or seen, stalking your enemy while at the same time they are stalking you ……. well, the adrenaline was actually flowing pretty fiercely. It was a lot of fun ……….. until you got bashed in the face with an egg.
Some days I am reminded of those egg wars …………. like I’ve been bashed in the face with an egg. It’s as much the surprise as anything. I work so hard to do things right, but then, somehow everything goes wrong. And, of course, there is the emotional pain. I feel embarrassed and depressed because I didn’t remember to order the gift my son wanted for his birthday, or I designed something wrong at work and it had to be completely rebuilt, or I got distracted while driving and ran over a dog. You know the feeling ……….
12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
“Forgetting what lies behind ……….” Those are comforting words. My life is not a collection of the mistakes I have made; it is a journey, a process of reaching for a higher goal. There will always be setbacks, but the goal is still before me; it is mine to take. The goal is to be like Jesus and someday ……….. someday, I’ll win that prize.
I raise my mug today and thank Christ that he has made me his own. No matter how many times I fail, there is always hope.