The Gladiator walks into the arena amidst the baying crowds. The crowd is whipped into a frenzy, screaming, spitting, gums bearing, whilst obscenities litter the air. After what seemed like an hour, the commotion subsides, the Gladiator although standing tall, has a slight wilt to his frame. He is defiant, yet already somehow he is wounded, maybe a stray stone, maybe just by the constant verbal assault from the crowd.
After a short while, there is silence, clouds pass over the sun and the slight breeze has become stronger to almost gale force then all is still. The trap door containing the Lion opens and it strides out with purpose. Sweat dripping from the Gladiators brow drips into his eyes blinding him temporarily; it’s at this moment the Lion pounces. One strike and the Gladiator is mauled, he falls to the ground and the Lion stands triumphant. It is all over very quickly, just as it begun.
I equate life or my life rather to this scene. I am the Gladiator, the mob Colleagues, friends, family or enemy any face will fit it doesn’t really matter at this time. The Lion you ask? Well, the lion represents trouble, hardship, or just simply ‘life’.
I have a friend who always responds to my soul bearing /my life’s a mess speech with the word ‘Life’ our conversations usually sound a bit like this.
Me: I don’t feel good today
Me: I think my foot is falling off
This annoys me greatly I usually want to punch him in the throat but what can I really say? He’s right it is ‘Life’.
In the films the Gladiator is mauled, blood oozing from a large hole in his abdomen it is at this point he looks towards the sky and smiles. This is usually the end of the film, credits role and everyone leaves the cinema. But what if you can’t leave? What if the wounds are not healing? For a while, I felt I was being dealt some bad playing cards. I was being wounded by life, I found myself peering down the tunnel and not seeing the light at the end of it. Everything had become a bloody struggle, and the very thought of tackling ‘life’ was leaving me weak. I had been wounded; imaginary hairline wounds were beginning to fester and weep. Past experiences and current turmoil’s where the reason for my state of mind and I was losing the fight I once had within me.
I can remember lying in the bed at night, looking at the ceiling thinking ‘I am not a fighter’ ‘I can’t do this’, ‘Why me?’ ‘I’m weak’. I moaned at people constantly each day, showing them my imaginary wounds almost expecting them to understand (I knew they didn’t) I was all dried up just waiting to look up at the sky and smile.
I had stopped praying and if I’m honest I forgot how to. The God in the sky knew what was going on in my life, why should I bore him with my mundane concerns. Many times I tried to kneel down and speak but the words would not leave my lips, I really hoped that God wasn’t offended, that he understood I couldn’t speak, that I didn’t want to. Months had passed and things became bearable, I surrounded myself with people who inspired me and pushed me into situations I wouldn’t normally find myself, and, more importantly, listened to me.
My wounds slowly began to heal, I realised my non-prayers had been answered through the people being sent to me. Recently I prayed, it was emotional, everything was laid out, my soul bare. I feel different now, each day better and different.
As the Gladiator looked up at the sky smiling, he jumped up and killed the Lion.
Peace out x