Years ago, I applied for a position in a career that required a background and fingerprint check. On the way to the facility to get these things done I began to catalogue the errors of my past. Would this or that infraction show up on my record? Would those be considered sins of long ago or would they be markers of a repeat offender rendering me ineligible for the position? What would be forgiven? What could not be forgotten?

 It is an interesting question isn’t it? It is like asking the question: How much can I get away with? We can ask these questions in the realm of spiritual resilience. How much can I sacrifice to achieve the personal goal? How much should I hold to with closed fist? Sometimes the answer surprises us.

 Author William Kincaid commented on the late southern humorist Lewis Grizzard. Lewis wrote of the day he heard a knock at his door and when he opened it he was handed a questionnaire about hell. He said, “It scared the ‘you know what’ out of me!” The questionnaire was titled: Heaven: Are you eligible?” Grizzard went on to take the test in the brochure and totaled up his score and found he fell in the category of… “Too close to call.”

 It doesn’t really matter what we might call the afterlife, but spiritual resilience has to do with knowing, or coming to know, where one is going in life and we are gifted with the capacity to ponder but not completely fathom the life that awaits us when we pass from these bodies. With that gift to think deeply, we come to the mindfulness of who we are today: strong and weak, healed and broken, comforted and challenged, welcomed and sent…


 This kind of mindfulness prepares us for the unexpected parts of life. Sometimes it might be of healthful benefit to skip a planned workout in order to meditate, practice breathing and heart rate control, or spend the couple hours with family. This is time when you are really with them, not in front of a screen or being entertained. Sometimes being mindful of the unexpected will lead you to go out and train on a day when you planned rest. The point is to be ready to listen to what your mind and body tells, mindfulness allows you to embrace something unexpected.


Thomas Holdcraft