I am truly blessed. Last night I was thinking back on my life and all that I have been through. I coudn't help but come to the conclusion that the Lord has blessed me richly in my life. This doesn't mean there haven't been hard times along the way. It just means my blessings have way outweighed the setbacks. You see, I have been blessed with many talents. From a young age, I have always excelled at basketball. I recall a moment when I was in fourth grade and we were in a basketball tournament over in Clear Lake. We were set to play a team that looked to be at least a couple of years older than our scrawny little team. Luckily, they showed up late and we were given a little head start. There were eight players on their team and we were given two free foul shots for each player before the game started. My dad elected me to go and shoot the sixteen freethrows. I made fourteen. Now this isn't a regular occurance with fourth graders. Most kids my age would be lucky to make four. As I got older, although I didn't mature as fast as others (I think I weighed under 100 pounds until I was in high school), I always possessed my knack for shooting the basketball. Slowly my body decided to get with the program and proceed through maturity, and by my junior year in high school I had become a pretty good basketball player. I ranked in the top three in three pointers made in the Houston area both my junior and senior years. I played an integral part in helping my team reach the state semi-finals my junior year (as I look back on that season, I can't help but think we were living in a dream. No responsibilities, no worries. We practically ruled the town.) I was all district three years in high school (first team both my junior and senior years) All county first team both years. I even got my picture taken and put into a magazine for the pre-season all-state team my senior year. I was all-tournament for the 4A classification when we went to Austin. I had my fair share of colleges calling and sending all sorts of stuff. To add to my basketball "stardom" I was pretty popular and was even crowned home-coming king. For reasons unknown to me today, I didn't really pursue basketball after my senior season, but I'll leave that to another blog entry. Even though I really didn't give a full effort to school, I graduated in the top ten percent of my class. Through college I continued playing basketball recreationally, and coninued to excel at it. I was given the gift of basketball. Looking back, I didn't really work that hard at it either. It was a gift. A blessing. Same goes for academics. I never really applied myself, it just came. Today, surrounded by an awesome family, all-star parents, a great wife, and the most perfect kid in the world (with another on the way) I continue to be blessed beyond measure and I am truly grateful.
Now, shifting gears. I wasn't the greatest basketball player or the smartest guy around, but I was talented nonetheless. Thinking back, I can only imagine the number of people in this world who would give anything to have the life I have lived to this point. This disease has made me take a step back and really ponder these things, this crazy thing called life. I know it sounds weird, but I am thankful for that. I can't help but think that God has thrust the weight of ALS on my shoulders for a reason. Maybe it is so I can reach the full potential of who I should be, to understand His purpose for me in this life. Heaven knows I haven't reached it to this point. Maybe it is a lesson to not take things for granted, as I have my whole life without thinking about it. I can convey to you one thing I do believe and know to be true - this is happening to me for the greater good. Because He is Good. It may be for reasons unknown at this time, but for good nonetheless. Pain is not always bad. Sometimes it must be endured for as I have stated - the greater good. As much as we don't like to think about our lives on this earth ending, they will. And either way the number of days we spend here will only be a fraction of a speck in eternity. We must understand that. Working to become closer to God, who we will spend eternity with is the main goal for us when we are here. Maybe this disease will help me to understand that. And for that I am blessed.