Forgiveness… one slice at a time.

Last week I requested your participation.  I asked if you would suggest topics that you wanted blogged about.  Thanks for those who responded back in notes and on my facebook.  I think, if this works out well, we might make it a regular part of the “Off… We go now” experience.

The topic most suggested was forgiveness and to that end… Off… We go now.

When I was 21 years old a buddy of mine and I took a giant pizza eating challenge.  The challenge was to eat a 40 inch pizza in one hour, only a few duos had ever eaten a whole one in the allotted time.  Do you want to know how to tackle such a big pizza?  A piece at a time.

Forgiveness, like giant pizzas, can only be eaten a piece at a time.  So here is what I will do, over the next few blogs, lets take forgiveness one slice at a time.

Forgiveness is a really big deal.  But for something that is such a big deal, it sure can be confusing and in many way a mystery.  Forgiveness often feel like a mountain we know we are supposed to climb, we know that at the top of that mountain are some necessary ingredients to our lives.  Forgiveness is one of those things that can only be accomplished by laying down something and in the act of laying down we pick something else up.  forgiveness is also one of those issues that when we do not lay down what we need to, we will pick up what we do not want.

Statements about forgiveness abound and these statements seem to add to the mystery.  Here are a few.

“What we do not forgive we become.”

“To err is human; to forgive divine.”

“Forgiveness is the greatest act of love accomplished at the greatest price.”

“Forgive and forget.”

Forgive and forget?   WTH?!!?  It is hard enough to just forgive without the added pressure of forgetting.  This is one of those statements that sort of takes the wind out of my forgiveness sails.  This one turns forgiveness into a mountain we look at and then because of its sheer cliffs, rugged terrain and continual storming, we avoid climbing.

I did a tiny bit of research on the phrase “Forgive and Forget” and this is what I found.  It comes from 16th century literature.

  • Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616): “Let us forget and forgive injuries.” “Don Quixote de la Mancha.”
  • William Shakespeare (1564-1616) “Pray you now, forget and forgive.” “King Lear”

That’s right and to think all these years I have been blaming God for an impossible standard and it was old Bill Shakespeare’s fault.

Most people I know have some pretty deep wounds.  Betrayed by family, hurt physically by another, lied to, battered emotions and bodies…  These are major offenses. For many reading these words, these wounds go way deeper that a small little blog can describe.  These wounds go to the core of our identity and have shaped how we see ourselves and others.  Some of these wounds have leaked over into other relationships and in turn harmed others, only we have inflicted the damage this time.

For many reading these words, the wounds are in the present as well as the past, some are in real time situations where their wounds are happening daily.

If I write things that bring up more questions, please chime in and if you know things that help, by all means jump into the conversation.

So tune in, chime in and Off… we go now.

~ by OFF we go now on July 31, 2010.

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