Monday, February 14, 2011

Letting go

It is coming up on my favorite time of the year. Playoff basketball is right around the corner. Actually the high school girls playoffs start this week. But what I am really interested in is the boys playoffs, which culminates in the State Tournament in Austin. Then, directly after that, NCAA March Madness begins. I love so many things about the game of basketball. There is no other sport like it when it comes to excitement. I do agree that football is better suited for television though. The best way to watch basketball is in the stands. Basketball is an in-the-moment sport. It is fast-paced. If you blink you will miss half of the game. Momentum can swing wildly. I've witnessed many great games in my lifetime and have even been a part of a few. Basketball is just as much mental as physical. I was able to shoot as well as I did because I was confident. I loved taking the big shot. There is no better feeling than the moment the ball rolls off of your fingertips, and you have no doubt where the ball is going to end up- in the bottom of the net. I loved playing the game and love watching it. That is why the month of March is such a great month. Playoff basketball is rightly described as madness. March Madness.

Notice above I said I loved playing basketball. Emphasis on the word loved. I can no longer shoot with my right hand. I can barely get the ball to the rim while standing directly under it. Thus, my playing days are over. I can still shoot left-handed, but essentially I would have to play with one arm. My right arm is almost useless at this point when it comes to basketball, as it is with almost every task requiring fine motor skills, for example: writing, eating, using the tv remote, etc. I can still grasp and lift pretty good so not all is lost just yet. My left hand is still good, so praise the Lord for that.

Needless to say, I've had to give up a lot of stuff over the last year and a half. None have bothered me too much except one. The ability to shoot a basketball. It is very hard to give something up that you were very good at. At least not this soon. I have been rather reluctant to watch or go to a gym until recently. It is hard to explain, but it just makes me kind of sad to stand on that hardwood floor and look up at the rim from behind the arc. It used to come so easy, so effortless. Now I can't even do it anymore. It is hard to explain. Now the allure of playoff basketball is calling me once again, and I want to experience it. I now experience basketball in a different way, but it is still exciting and fulfilling.

I do not know at this point, but this could very well be just the tip of the iceberg. I'll leave the future up to God. I have no idea what the future holds. I do know that I will be just fine, because I choose to put it in His hands, knowing that I have no control over it. My prayer to God each day is to just take it. This disease, my worries, my future. I lay it all in His arms. I do take back one statement, the one where I said we have no idea what the future holds. At some point our lives on this Earth will end. And there is a pretty good chance we will have to let go of a lot of things along the way. Some people choose to cling to things. They fear that giving them up will make them less of a person. Sometimes they hold on to the point that it affects others in a negative way. They become depressed because they lament on the things they used to have. They feel they will be a burden on others. But not letting go creates more of a burden. Having a positive attitude and accepting God's fate for us will be better for everyone. I plan on keeping this positive attitude along my journey as much as I can, and when I run into a tough spot, I will ask for His insight, His strength, His courage that only He can provide. I agree that I will do as much on my own as long as I can, as everyone should, but when it comes time to let go, I will. I will focus on Him and His will for me. I will embrace each day as one more to live out His purpose for me, whatever it may be.

Friday, February 4, 2011


Do you have any regrets? Up until recently I thought I did. I know that sounds weird because everyone has regrets, right? I do believe everyone does have regrets at one time or another during their lifetime. Some more than others, and some for longer periods of time. Let me tell you about some of the regrets I used to have. As I stated in one of my earlier posts, the Good Lord has given me many talents, both in the classroom and on the basketball court. I played a little game with myself when I turned 30. I asked myself what my biggest regrets in life were to that point. My biggest was not pursuing basketball after high school. And that regret was predicated on a sequence of events that took shape about midway through my junior year in high school. Like I stated in an earlier post, I played an integral part on the Santa Fe team that went all the way to Austin. Toward the end of the season, and the end of that year, I started to get what could be called a big head. And I am not talking about my baseball cap size, even though it is rather large. I am talking about the mental big head. I was getting interest from some colleges about playing ball for them. The most notable of these colleges was what is now Texas State University. It used to be called Southwest Texas State. I had other colleges interested, but these guys were who I was interested in. I thought I had it all figured out. I thought I was good enough to not have to work as hard at getting better as I should have been. Also, I got into a relationship and "thought" I was in love, and this took my concentration off of school and basketball. I kind of coasted through that summer and the rest of my senior year just thinking that things would be handed to me without me having to work at them. Boy was I wrong. Southwest Texas lost interest in me, and when that happened I sort of got my feelings hurt and shut down. There were still other colleges interested, but I was no longer interested. I was immature and juvenile. I first went to Texas A&M out of high school. I still did not understand the value of hard work at that point. I struggled to maintain a C average, and quickly lost interest in that too. I dropped out of A&M and attended two junior colleges. I regretted not having my stuff together those first few years out of high school. I had squandered my opportunity to continue playing basketball. I had messed up the gift my parents gave me of attending a great university (that is the one and only compliment I will give to A&M, HaHa). I couldn't get those years back. But, lo and behold, the Lord continued to bless me and give me opportunities. My friend, Cliff Owens, opened my eyes to the beauty that was Texas Tech University. Jake and I headed up there in the fall of 2000, again on my parents' dime. By the way, my parents are amazing to me. The loyalty and perseverance they have shown in regards to Jake and I over the years is nothing short of miraculous. It was a great couple of years. I grew up a lot during my time up there. It opened my eyes to the importance of getting away and being sort of independent. I met my wife one month after moving to Lubbock and the rest is history. I finally graduated with a Finance degree in May of 2003. Again, I thought I was equipped and ready for the world, and again I was wrong. I fumbled around between jobs for about a year and a half until one of my mom's friends helped me land a job at The Boeing Company. I worked for Boeing for over five years and am very thankful for that time.

I am starting to ramble and quite possibly starting to bore you with a description of my dull and boring life, haha. So I need to move on to the point of my post. I've made a lot of questionable, and frankly, dumb decisions in my life. And I should regret those decisions, correct? I am not convinced of that today. I mean, if all of those dumb decisions, the collective heap of immaturity that I have displayed during my lifetime, and the utter ignorance of my ways has led me to where I am today then I simply cannot have regrets. You see, that is one of the beauties of life. We get second and third and fourth and fifth chances. And with all of these chances, somehow I have managed to make a couple of good decisions. Looking at my son, I cannot regret any of my decisions if they have led to the creation of him. I mean, if I had decided to go play ball at some of the schools that were interested in me, like UL Monroe, or Texas Lutheran, or Panola Juco, then I almost certainly would not have met my wife. And if I didn't meet my awesome wife then Jeran would not be here. Because of this I have come to the conclusion that the Lord does indeed have a plan for all of us, and everything happens for a reason. God has created us with free will. And with this huge responsibility of the free will to make our own decisions, He knows that we will mess up sometimes. That is why He forgives, and gives us multiple chances to make the right decisions. He gives us the opportunities to right our wrongs, and ultimately discover His infinite love for each one of us. We tend to put so much emphasis on our lives. We want to make the correct decisions. We want to impress people. We want to have fun and be happy. But, as time passes, we find out that something that seems so important to us today loses its importance next week. We find that we cannot go back and correct our faults. We find that in the grand scheme of things, our lives are so minuscule that they don't even begin to put a blip on the radar screen. Or do they? I believe they most certainly do in God's eyes. This is why we must focus on Him, and His will. Now He knows that we are human, and will make mistakes, which is the reason he sent His Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross so that our sins can be forgiven. Because He loves us that much. So, if you believe in Him you don't have to worry about making the wrong decision. This in no way means we can do whatever we want without regard. It means that if we consult with Him and make the best decision based on what He tells us, or what we feel is in His will, then we can't make a wrong decision. Because we put it in His hands and He will not fail. I challenge you to consult with God before making your next big decision and put it in His hands. Let Him worry about it. Let Him take care of it. I can almost guarantee you will feel the pressure lift off of your shoulders.

In closing, I hope I have at least sort of coherently put my thoughts together in a way you can understand. Let go of the past. Focus on the future, and His will for us. Our lives here are but an incubation period for our destiny into how we will spend our eternity. Because in the end of our lives on Earth, we can only have one true regret, and that is not acknowledging Him as our Lord and Savior before our time is up. We have no idea when our time will be up. So start today, and enjoy the only certainty in this life. The certainty of His love for us. I want to leave you with a verse from Proverbs 3:6. "In all of your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."

By the way, we didn't make it to the ALS clinic on Friday due to the icy roads, so I don't have any stories about that. I guess we will see next time.