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.


  1. Dear Josh - I just wanted to thank you for sharing your journey with us. Your words and thoughts are encouraging. I am deeply sorry for what you & your family are going through; you all are in our prayers.
    You will always be a legend to the game of basketball - we all know how great you are. Thanks for sharing your talent with us on and off the court! God Bless!

  2. You are so right about learning to "let go". That old saying we come into this world with nothing and will leave the same way is so true, but we forget that truth in our rush to get more stuff!! We know people today who are much closer to death than you and they remain worried about "their stuff". Won't consider moving or otherwise rearranging their lives because they would have to be parted from it. You are a perfect exampl of age not being the final repository of wisdome. Love grandpa Jack and Jackie

  3. What great insight you have for one so young. But then you have always exhibited much maturity. My prayers are always with you and your beautiful family. Continue to keep the faith. It is all we really have to see us through.

  4. Josh,

    I just recently received news about your disease and have been trying to find a way to contact you to see how you are doing and if there is anything I can do to help. I know that is cliche, but really if you ever need anything such as a friend to watch a game or grab a bite to eat with, I would love to. You can reach me at my email I would really enjoy catching up to see how you and your family are doing. God Bless. Michael