Not long ago, I was asked to sing our National Anthem at a motor cross/boxing/kickboxing event. (More about that in a future blog.) After we had set the date and made the agreement, I got what I thought to be a frantic text, “What do you charge?” The person who was negotiating the agreement had never heard me sing, so I thought his question was sweet and funny. I am sure that my reply put him at ease immediately: “I never charge for God or country.”
Anyway, the appointed evening arrived and John and I met my new friend at the venue. I was surprised to learn that I was to sing our nation’s most precious song standing in the middle of a boxing ring.
Have you ever looked closely at a boxing ring? I hadn’t really ever thought about it before that evening.
Here are the two most important features of this sporting venue: to get inside, you must crawl through the ropes. AND, to get outside, you must crawl through the ropes.
Getting inside is a little easier. Fewer people are watching and you can take your time. Getting outside is tougher. For the Star Spangled Banner, Americans stand reverently, place their hands over their hearts, and turn to face our nation’s flag. The thing to remember is that after the last note of the song is done, they are standing and are often still watching what is going on. Getting out of the boxing ring with an arena of eyes on me was frightening.
My 18-month old knee and my troublesome other knee make me less “bendable” than most people. I knew that so many things could go so horribly wrong during my ring entrance and exit.
I was worried!!
John put it best. It was possible that I might be “upside down, right side up, inside out – all at the same time!!”
The experts told me how to do it correctly. I practiced. Other men stood next to John to help pull the ropes apart, to help me through the ropes and to steady me as I walked down the steps. (By the way, after you get through the maze of ropes you learn that boxing rings do not have ADA approved rails next to the 5 steps that go to the floor level!!)
The moment came. The song was done and I turned to face my nemesis – those ropes!! It was over in a flash. It all went well. There would be no humiliating YouTube video titled “woman falls out of boxing ring” to obsess over. The help of others and a lot of prayer got me through it.
Facing any giants this week? Christmas credit card receipts causing fear in your heart? Struggling with the new job, that old relationship, the chemo therapy schedule, a boxing ring, or something else? God knows all about it.
This last week, Poppa and I were talking about doing hard things. His three points of advice were exactly what he has modeled all of his life.
⁃ Be smart
⁃ Do what should be done
Such great advice!!
Jill (just one of God’s kids)
“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)