A Boxing Lesson

By Joseph J. Mazzella • March 5, 2024

It’s funny how something can happen to you that you file away in the back of your heart and mind only to figure out what it was trying to teach you many years later. That is what happened to me today when I thought back on an old memory.

I was a teenager visiting my friend’s home and he showed me two pairs of boxing gloves he had just gotten. Being boys we decided to give them a try with a boxing match in the yard. It soon became clear, however, that my friend had a boxing lesson or two while I’d had none. In addition to this he was taller than me and had a longer reach. Soon my face was red and stinging from jabs he landed while I missed every punch. I found myself growing madder and madder and my anger welled up inside of me. Finally I swung a wild hook that connected and I saw my friend wince in pain. But for some reason instead of feeling glad I felt bad. I didn’t like hurting him. I dropped my gloves, told him I’d had enough, and stopped the match.

Looking back on that memory now I can see that God was speaking to my heart and soul through my feelings that day. He was trying to teach me something but I was still too young and immature to see it fully. He was trying to show me that as much as this world tries to tell us otherwise, we are not here to hurt each other. We are here to help each other. We are all His Children. We are all one family. We are all here to love each other as much as we love ourselves. And any time we hurt another we hurt ourselves just as much.

I have never been in another boxing match since that day, but sadly I have still hurt people in other ways. Like all of us, I am a work in progress. After all of these years I am still learning how to live. After all these years I am still learning how to love. It takes a lifetime. But in the end I am sure God will get through to us all and we will spend eternity in His Love and Joy.


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