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The adversary

By Jason Swindle
Senior Partner Swindle Law Group P.C

You can throw your hands up. You can beat the clock. You can move a mountain. You can break rocks. You can be a master. Don’t wait for luck. Dedicate yourself and you can find yourself standing in the hall of fame. And the world’s gonna know your name. ‘Cause you burn with the brightest flame. And you’ll be on the walls of the hall of fame.”

― The Script, Hall of Fame

This is one of my favorite songs of all time. However, the title is misleading. The song does not describe a list of heroes inducted into their respective Halls of Fame. It is quite the opposite.

This song tells us that we have only one adversary in life that can defeat us.

I have practiced law long enough to watch children grow into adults and forge their own paths. It is pleasing to see so many thriving young people in our community. But, we also see children take the dark path of unparsed dreams, wasted talent, destruction and jail.

There are many circumstances that move our lives in one direction or another. But, there is one consistent element that exists in almost every tragic life. This is the failure to overcome one’s most powerful adversary; the image staring back in the mirror.

The adversary oftentimes forms during childhood. Some children are told what they can and cannot become. These arbitrary limitations become reality.

A common example is when someone tries to hold a child back by telling him that he is not smart enough, talented enough, good enough, etc. This is often done by an adult the child greatly admires and desperately seeks approval from. If the adult chooses to hold himself back, that is a personal choice. If he chooses to hold a child back, he has committed a criminal act of the highest order.

However, the adversary can be overcome at any stage in life with God’s guidance.

When seeking God’s will, the boy who was once burdened by his perceived limitations has the peace to pursue any goal, dream or purpose that God has provided. The face in the mirror is no longer an adversary. He is an ally.

The special needs child, who is stared at and told that she can only do certain things in life, sees the face of a loser in the mirror. While she does not yet realize her gift, the strength to help others is unleashed. That child battles and overcomes her self-doubt and those who would place artificial barriers in her way. .

These heroes, and many more, are in the Hall of Fame not because of their accomplishments. Their place is enshrined because they defeated their most powerful and only adversary; themselves.