“What sport are you going to choose?” my friend said to me as the smell of his unwashed gym shirt filled my nose.
“I dunno. What about you?” I said running my fingers through my gel filled hair, trying and failing miserably at looking cool for the ladies in my gym class.
“I’m doing gymnastics,” my friend said.
“Dude. You’re doing gymnastics. That’s the girl sport. All the guys are wrestling.”
“I know, but I want to do gymnastics. You should do it with me, it’ll be fun.”
“No way, I’m doing wrestling,” I walked over to the boys side of the gym and took my spot in line with the rest of the sweaty stinky boys.
I was in seventh grade when the class was faced with the decision to either do wrestling or gymnastics. The gym teacher had told us that it used to be that all the boys did wrestling and the girls did gymnastics, but due to some lawsuit he had to offer both sports to both genders.
Out of the entire class my friend was the only boy who decided to do gymnastics, the rest of us “men” as we liked to think of ourselves were going to wrestle. It was a two week lesson in wrestling and I learned very quickly that I stink at wrestling.
It might have been my tendency to be more of a lover than a fighter that made me a bad wrestler. It might have also been the fact that I was very very doughy in seventh grade. I was a 98 pound weakling trapped in a 130 pound body. Whatever the reason was, I was a terrible wrestler.
The one bright spot in my wrestling career was that I maintained a perfect record. I never won a match. Even the boy who was extremely small for his age and was on growth hormones for it beat me.
During one of my matches as my opponent’s sweaty armpit rested mere inches from my nose and sweat from his forehead dripped on to my face, I watched my friend, the one who had chosen gymnastics running and dancing with all the girls in the class. “I should have picked gymnastics” I thought to myself sweat continuing to drip onto my face. The referee counted to three and my perfect loss record remained intact.
I walked over to the rear of the line, my opponent’s sweat still dripping off my face. My gymnastics friend on the other hand was busy flirting and talking to all the girls in the class. It didn’t matter to him that all the boys were going to ridicule him for picking gymnastics, he saw the glory in the decision. Two weeks alone with all the girls in the class. He saw what no other boy in the class did and was reaping the benefits of that decision.
It’s been years since I last wrestled, but many times I will think of that two week period in my life. When I reflect upon that time I often think had I had the courage to stand up to the other boys in the class and choose gymnastics it could have been me flirting and hanging out with all the girls.
There have been many times in my life where I have simply gone with the crowd to avoid the ridicule and name calling that comes with going against the flow. But yet there are times in our lives when God calls us to stand apart from the crowd. He’s asked me many times wrestling or gymnastics and too many times I’ve picked wrestling. Each time I’ve picked wrestling I ended up covered in stinky nasty sin, but those time I’ve picked gymnastics I’ve ended up surrounded by dancing choirs of angels. It takes courage to choose gymnastics, but then again it also takes courage to follow God’s will in your life.
In everyones life the questions the same, wrestling or gymnastics, the answer is up to you.