Eric Upton

Live. Learn. Run.

Show Your Scars

Thanksgiving fast approaches.  For most, it would seem it approaches a little too fast.  It’s easy for things to get lost in all of the hustle and bustle of the season.  As everyone prepares their protective gear and helmets in the advent of the battle, known as “Black Friday”, it seems we are cascading over a very important holiday.  One that should make us stop and reflect.

It has done this in my mind.  All week I have thought of things that I should be thankful for.  Encouraging others to find one thing they are thankful for.

As I comb through the usual suspects, only a few really create that deep, emotional pull towards thankfulness.

Here are the people in my life that matter:

I am so thankful for my wife.  She completes me in every way.  She’s my best friend in this world.  She puts up with more than she should.

I am thankful for my children. I love them dearly and would die for them without hesitation.  They turned out way better than their upbringing.

I am thankful for my parents who have sacrificed so that I may live a complete and full life.

I am thankful for my in-laws.  They are a great couple.  They are always supportive of us in so many ways.

I am thankful for my brother, who forgave me my transgressions.  I owe him more than he knows.  He turned out great!

I am thankful for my friend, Mike, who prompted this writing.  He has been an inspiration to me over the years.  As time goes by, our relationship keeps getting stronger and purposed.

I am thankful for my new friend, Dave.  This guy holds the keys to some really great revelations in my life.  I look forward to exploring each passage with him.

Ok, enough with people.  I think you get the idea.  I didn’t want to leave important people out.  Here comes the meat of my writing.

I am thankful for the scars that I have been given.  Life lessons, if you will.  My life has not been an easy one.  Looking back, one can see loss, hurt, worry, pain and fear.  Most of it was self-imposed.  Mistakes seemed the norm.  Destructive behavior seemed inevitable.

It turns out these were simply tools used to carve out what is now known as “Eric”.

He is God-crafted being whose resilience seems to be unshakeable.  He is a creature that knows the weary feel of spiritual, mental and physical warfare.  He is one who always gets back up, no matter how hard the punch.

He is also one who has seen immense beauty and pleasure in this world.  One who sees the purity of man, though it is covered in sin.  Having his eyes opened to what people really are:  they are just like me.  They are everyday people going through the very same fight.  Whether it is finances, spiritual matters, relationships, everyone is getting through this life just like I am.

I am thankful for this one thought that I hold true: It’s about the lives you touch as you pass through this world.  The impact you make.  From the little hand that needs held, to the callused hand that needs work.  It’s all about what you can do for the other riders on this planet.

I think that those who have been through the “school of hard knocks” should stand up this Thanksgiving and “Show Your Scars”.  Be proud of what you’ve endured.  It has made you who you are.  God made you by His hand for a reason.  Find out what that reason is and put it work for you.  You’ll be glad you did.

Offer and hand up in praise, a hand out in love and a hand down in humility.  We all come from somewhere.

Eric • 11/24/2009

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