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iron sharpens iron

- i can't wait to witness this sharpening process first hand sometime this week, and see that scripture-quoting, wisdom-dispensing guru of a coach (i call him the warrior poet) continue to refine this team into what they will become.  part of my annual pilgrimage. 

-iron sharpens iron.  that's not something tomlin made up, of course.  you can find it in proverbs 27:17.  it says, "as iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another."  its a statement about conflict and resolution, as i see it.  its not merely a proverb about war, or football, or even arguing all the time.  its saying that when we try and exist in a vacuum, we become very dull indeed.  but when we live our story, when we are authentic and genuine and find ourselves bumping up against others who are also living theirs, we inevitably experience a bit of friction.  and friction, when it exists in a constructive context, is a sharpening agent. 

-the lesson in football, of course, is that the bumps and bruises along the way are all growing pains as the team becomes just that: a team.  if the cornerbacks play their best in practice against the wide receivers, it makes the wide recievers' game that much better.  likewise at every level of competition on the field.  if the incumbent first string player is being challenged by the young kid, hungry for a job and willing to do anything to prove he deserves it, it drives the veteran player to be his best.  all of this involves some level of conflict.  collision.  sparks fly.  emotions run high.  but in the end, there is clarity.  there is edge.  there is identity. 

-the lesson in life, is that others make us more authentically ourselves.  surrounding ourselves with people who think like us, act like us, talk like us, smell like us, drive like us, and vote like us makes us a very dull version of ourselves.  we become blunt and boring.  and we sort of blend into the background.  but if we engage the story of "the other" - whomever that may be for us - we may feel threatened but, in the end, we discover more about our identity.  we get clarity about who we really are.  and we do that same thing for others. 

-so how are you being sharpened these days?  and how are you helping in the sharpening process for others? 


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