The Joy of Fighting
by Christian Thomas Golden
First, let me say this: joy is not the little thing many people act as if it is. I believe such people have never experienced joy. I won’t belittle joy so much as to confine it into definition. I’ll only say that one can only define joy once one has experienced it, and even then they won’t find sufficient words to express.
Now, on to fighting. There’s nothing wrong with fighting. At least, nothing worse than eating, drinking, sex, sleep, and even breathing. It’s how and why you fight that matters.
No, there’s nothing inherently wrong with fighting. In fact, [as suggested by the title of this piece] I’d say that one can never experience joy without first experiencing a fight.
Note: I did not say “one only experiences joy after winning a fight.” I said, “without first experiencing a fight.” One does not have to win a fight to experience joy.
Joy comes from the Lord.
Struggle, fight, sweat, cry, bleed, scratch, fall, climb, slip, fall, break some bones, lie, cheat, steal, kill, destroy, love, cherish, give, take, spend, earn, breath, choke, cough, spit, help, reach, kiss, hold, smile, and frown.
Joy comes from death.
Out of death comes resurrection.
With resurrection comes joy.
If you think you’ve known joy – if you know that you’ve experienced joy, look back on that experience. There you will find that said experience was precluded first by death, then by resurrection.
Well! I’ve forgotten to define fighting!
What does it mean to fight? What are the elements of a fight? When I fight, what am I doing?
Let’s say I’m fighting for a promotion at work. I have a goal: promotion at work. I have not yet gained that promotion, so I must find out what I can do to be promoted.
What came first? I realized that I wanted the promotion. In other words, I was standing in a place that was not where I wanted to be. To put it yet another way, I had not yet entered into an experience that I longed to take part in.
Allow me to digress. I’ve been thinking lately: when I look back on my life, I see lives. Not the lives of others, but several lives of mine. First, I look back at my life before I accepted Jesus as my lord and savior. I cannot remember the way I thought back then. Then, I look back at my life before I started working with developmentally disabled youth. I cannot remember the way i thought back then.
And so I am in my current way of thinking. Actually, that is wrong. It isn’t a way of thinking. It’s a way of perceiving. A way of looking, in a manner of speaking. I cannot describe it any other way.
No. It’s even more than that. It’s a feeling. No. More.
It’s a life.
As I became born again, I gained a new life (or, really, life for the first time). As I experienced work with disabled youth, I gained a new life.
You see, experience is life. To experience is to choose. To choose is to struggle. To struggle is to fight. To fight is to live.
To live is joy.