I have been blogging for the past couple of weeks on Fr. Tom Hopko’s 10 Essential Conditions for coming to know God’s truth and finding life. Today we are looking at the 9th Essential Condition:
The person must regularly talk with someone trustworthy, specifically about their family of origin: their family history going back as far as possible, their childhood, relations with their parents and grandparents and siblings, their spiritual and religious history, their sexual history, education, etc.
The 9th Essential Condition reminds me of the National Football League’s illegal motion penalty. First, I will explain the penalty and then explain why I see them as related.
One of the rookie mistakes one often sees in American football is illegal motion. Illegal motion is when a member of the offensive team (other than the man in motion) moves or any offensive player goes forward just prior to the snap. Prior to starting the motion, all players on the offensive side must be in a set formation for a minimum of one second. Otherwise, it is illegal motion and results in a five-yard penalty. Only players in the backfield and not on the line of scrimmage may be in motion at the time of the snap. Only one player may be in motion at one time, and the player must not move toward the line of scrimmage in his motion (in other words, he can only move laterally or backward). If a player other than the quarterback is in motion at the time of the snap it is illegal. There are no football plays that incorporate this violation of the rules and so illegal motion is always a mistake made by a player unaware of the play that is being executed.
I have often wondered if much of our arguments, worries and concerns are based on the unresolved issues, unreasonable attitudes and unrepented of sins from our past. If this is true, and I would love to hear your opinion on this, it is exactly like illegal motion in the backfield. Our childhood and family history, etc. is still in motion and it affects the present. If we are aware of it’s influence it begins to lose influence. Sharing in detail about the past frees us to live in the present moment. By speaking to a trustworthy person about our past we bring these influences to the line of scrimmage. By speaking about them we keep them paused for a second and in the open where they can be understood and confessed