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Recently I had a conversation with a close friend. She pointed out that I've... "changed", her tone suggestive in a negative context. "You weren't always like this," she explained. "So cold." I let her know that life has that effect on people. I've come from a very dark place, fighting since a child. Anger and bitterness were once my best friends. Bathing in tears. Considering my life's circumstances, I am actually proud of myself. I could be a lot worse than "cold", but grace has been a crutch where physical will power wasn't sufficient. (Puts away baby violin)From the ashes of pain arose a fiery blaze of strength. In those puddles of tears swim a fierce warrior's spirit. And I am no special case, that goes for a lot of us. We all have a story. We have fought, we have endured, and we have prevailed. (Spartan Scream)

But I must admit, my friend did bring something to the forefront of my daily thoughts. Is there a burden to bear along with the Glory of War? Does each battle take away? I can only speak on my behalf, and I have lost something, at first glance, seemingly precious. I've grown a bit insensitive. Non-tolerant. Reserved. My inner most love safely guarded from intrusion. And I will be the first to admit that this can cause problems. I have very little patience. I've been that little boy with a broken heart. So very seldom do I present it without trial. It's either black or white. In or out. Pretty cold, right? But take a second thought. That mindset has allowed people to accomplish incredible feats of amazement and contributions to mankind. Black and white cuts out the middle man. That gray area of doubt. Words like "maybe" or "possibly" are written with a gray dry-erase marker. Doubt is inevitable, especially in the face of success. But as warriors why not do our best to make our moves count?

There are no gray spaces on a board of chess. Some call it cold, I call it "Life". You have pawns to distract you and rooks who may get in your way, but you must play. You will not win every game, but you must play. And eventually you'll grow to protect your greatest asset, which is YOU! Actions speak volumes beyond words. If they say they love you, wait and let them show you. Let them make their move. He can talk about a king all day, but if he's grabbing a pawn, then leave. If she can't prove to be a queen the it's a game wasted. Be patient, because a few good moves mean nothing. That my friend, is a warrior's greatest advantage, knowing that there are only two. To fail, succeed, win, lose, black, white, defeat, or victory.

The caveat is to play this game with passion and not anger. That is precisely why I had to forgive. Not forget. Pain is essential to progress. Failure fuels a future. Again two options only, let your losses turn you bitter with resentment, or create a thirst to succeed in spite of. I seem "cold", but I've dedicated my heart to uplifting others with a standard. That little boy who was lied to and abandoned, will love his wife and children like his grandfather loved him. And WE will not settle. Not all will understand or agree. But we all have to play. And I have only two options.

#1. Always Give God Glory
#2. We are going to touch this world this world, One Lapel At A Time!                                                                                                                                


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