I pulled a hamstring last Friday playing basketball. I had played earlier that week on Monday for about two and a half hours and ran Wednesday and Thursday so maybe my legs were a little bit run down. Or maybe it had something to do with the guy WHO TRIPPED ME! as I was going full speed down the court. He clipped the side of my foot and caused me to stumble a bit and when my foot hit the floor at 2/3 of a stride instead of a full stride I felt a pop at the back of my left leg. I had to hobble off the court. I didn’t cry…..much. Today is the first day that I can almost walk without a limp. I have been trying to play it off by bobbing my head a little bit and wearing ear buds. I am not sure it is working. I pulled the hamstring on the other leg about 15 years ago and I don’t remember it hurting this bad. Of course, I was 15 years younger. As an older friend of mine used to say, “Growing old ain’t for sissies.”
At work somebody asked me if I got mad at the guy who tripped me. I told them that there really wasn’t any need to get mad, it was just an accident. They pointed out that maybe this guy fouled me on purpose or maybe he did it in an act of clumsiness and they would be really mad if somebody did something that kept them off the court for 6 weeks. As I thought about that perspective, I pointed out some flaws with it. First, it was probably my clumsiness that led to the injury. Second, even if it was somebody else’s fault, it would not be right to hold a grudge and be angry. If everybody I have ever knocked down on the basketball court stayed mad at me, I would be public enemy number one. My picture would be in every post office in the land! But most importantly, God’s word tells us how we are to react in these situations. The Bible says in Ephesians 4:32
“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”
I have been forgiven of so many things by the Lord, it just wouldn’t be right for me to withhold forgiveness from others. Sometimes, it is not easy to forgive, but when we don’t we are only hurting ourselves. Not forgiving leads to anger, bitterness, high blood pressure and can make us paranoid about other people’s intentions. The health problems and mental stress caused by not forgiving is just not worth it. God has our best intentions in mind when He asks us to let things go. Forgiving others is a part of our own healing process. I can’t let my healing be slowed down by holding grudges…I’ve got to get ready to get back in the game!