Rolling with the punches

Published 5:04 pm Tuesday, November 14, 2017

This morning I’m thinking about two well-known phrases and both concern themselves with motion. One is “rolling with the punches” and the other is “running into a buzz saw.” Both can apply to my favorite football team, the Georgia Bulldogs.

I wrote about them a couple of weeks ago when they were heading down and over to Jacksonville to take on the Florida Gators. That was a good weekend and, if I can think about the good, I should make a little room for the not-so-good. Is not-so-good too kind for the performance of my team?

I woke up Sunday morning and had planned to wear one of my Georgia neckties to church. I did and plenty of friends commented on my courage or my lack of discernment. “You ought not to be wearing that tie after yesterday’s embarrassing blowout.

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I was simply “rolling with the punches” after we had “run into a buzz saw” in the loveliest village on the plains, a name given to Sweet Auburn by poet Oliver Goldsmith. I don’t think Kirby Smart and his pack of “dawgs” connected the words sweet and Auburn late Saturday afternoon!

Rolling with the punches is a boxing phrase. The man in the ring can lessen the impact of the punch if, when it comes, he can roll away from it. Or, the boxer can poke that jaw out there and take the full force of the blow and come away with glassy eyes and rattling teeth.

Well, it’s over and done and maybe it was a good thing. Kirby and his team can find a way to make, and here’s another common phrase, “make some lemonade out of the lemons.” Disappointment comes to every person who lives for any length of time and perspective is a good thing.

How can we celebrate on top of mountains if we haven’t walked through the valleys? How can we appreciate the great things in life if we haven’t seen the other side? As the saying goes into every life a little rain must fall. Of course, this past Saturday in Auburn, I wouldn’t say it was a “little rain” that fell, but a flood of Biblical proportions. ,.

The coach said that one game on Saturday does not define his team. Instead, the definition of his team will be made at how they respond to the subsequent games remaining. Sometimes it takes a low and painful experience to motivate us to reach even higher. Again, perspective is appropriate and not just for football seasons.

As a pastor, I am never asked to preach a sad funeral. Instead, I am asked to help the family celebrate the life of the beloved. No doubt, the occasion is sad, but the beauty of life is to be emphasized and not the gloom of the moment.

One of my favorite country songwriters is Kris Kristofferson and one of his greatest songs was a lament by the name of”For the Good Times.” It was Song of the Year in 1970. You probably have heard it, but it’s been a long time. It’s about a parting and the sadness of the moment.

It’s also about rolling with the punches and a line says, “This old world will keep on turning.” Fortunately, that’s the way life is.

I have always been impressed by the resilience of human beings. Some people can run straight into buzz saws and, at the same time, find some way to roll with the punches. Here is hoping that whatever happens to you in your life, you will find a way to overcome.