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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Faithfulness

It was final. 1-0.

I got in my car and drove for 20 minutes with only a vague notion of where I was going. I finally pulled over in an abandoned parking lot and and took a breath. This was the end of a very long, frustrating day: directionless at work, unfulfilled at home; useless. What had pushed me over the edge was that San Jose beat Seattle 1-0. (I'll let you guess which sport.)

So, I calmed down, put it in perspective and drove home. Over the next few days I began to sort out the silver lining that I had found during that long drive through the night. I learned the value of faithfulness.

The idea of faithfulness had already been bouncing around in my head for a few days before this all happened, but this day was a lens that let me make sense of something which, at the time of all these circumstances and Seattle's regrettable loss, seemed like a gigantic waste of time. So, when I drove past the airport, I thought about running away; picking a random destination and taking a break from it all. I wanted to be free from the pain that loyalty had brought me. Wasn't I supposed to be rewarded instead of punished for being loyal? I realized later that true loyalty probably couldn't exist without being tested.

As tempting as running away might be sometimes, I realized that there is something to be said for being faithful. Every time I chose to stand by my sports team or my job, it not only said something about me, but also about the person or thing I was being faithful to. It was a testament to what I thought it was worth. I thought about relationships like marriages and dating, and jobs and friends and how you can only truly have and enjoy those things if you are faithful to them; if you don't run away.

I texted a close friend of mine towards the calmer side of my countryside drive that night, who is also a huge Seattle fan, and told him some of my frustrations from the day. He told me that he was glad that I had driven for 20 minutes in complete fury because I was so worked up over Seattle losing. To him, it showed loyalty; faithfulness; that I actually cared. When he said that I had to agree: I guess I'm glad too.

That night showed me that even when the things that I put my trust into fails, and most of them will, and I get upset, which I do, and feel like running away from everything, which I could, its a chance to be faithful. If I decide that its worth it, and I don't run away, ignoring the exotic notions of leaving everything I know to search for something better, than things will start to be built on that foundation. Trust and respect and honor are all products of faithfulness. Unfortunately, so is pain and despair and disappointment and doubt, but I realized I had to have both, and thats a good thing. I'd much rather have the faith of someone who has seen me fail and stuck with me anyway, than someone who has only seen me on my best day.

I'm glad I was mad enough about soccer to drive into the night and rant and fume and despise San Jose. It made me realize that I'd rather care enough to be hurt by something, than run away from it and never feel a thing.

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