As I mention in my bio, I became very interested
in athletics as I enjoyed playing football with my cousin and friends at
the age of seven or thereabouts. I began to watch Monday night football,
and have many fond memories of Howard Cossell trying to teach me more about
the game. :-)
As far as I could see, the only thing that kept me from being the next Larry Csonka was my utter lack of speed. I mean, Larry was no Mercury Morris, but I was really thankful that the period couldn't end until the play was brought to completion, if you know what I mean. I seemed to move better going up hills than on the flat.
So everyone would catch me, and I would drag them down the field until I got too tired to move. This somehow didn't thrill the other kids. They couldn't tackle me, so I guess in a way I was really good. But the whole process was so slow and methodical that it probably bored them to tears! :-)
Well, that combined with my general social outcast standing, earned me last pick when the regular guys were there. They always made sure I was on the opposite team of Richard Fryer, the principles son though, because we were the only guys who could tackle each other very much of the time. We played all this tackle football completely against the policies of the schools, and I led out as a rebel in the name of personal freedoms from a young age. :-)
Anyway, this page used to go on and on about various memories that might be instructive, insightful, inspirational, or funny. But for brevity I'm going to just give a summary. Mankind tends to measure himself against the other person. This is why many compete in athletic events. I lost the inspiration to do this long long ago.
I began to realize in Christ that we are all very diverse complicated packages, specializing in all kinds of different areas. Our bodies are just amazing. God flat out designed us in an incredible way. I think of the sprinter depicted in "Chariots of fire" who said "When I run I feel his pleasure". God built him to run and to glorify him in that I believe.
In like fashion, I've known many times when God was able to glorify himself in my own life through using what he has given me, or even what I think he supernaturally gave me for the moment. Whether it was a group of prideful guys who thought they were so much better than me that they had to leave me out of the game until they had fouled out....and then had to watch me hit a string of 6 or so three point shots, though they had already left us so far behind there was no time left to win. Or whether it was my old classmates who alienated me because I wouldn't join them in smoking pot; as they had to see the political situation play out where the guy they were afraid of playing against without pads never even suited up for a varisty game.
In all those things and more God worked through me because I submitted my body to him. Many times in the game of basketball, phenomenal abilities that I know I don't posess just...appeared. I can look back and see how those abilities were bestowed for the specific purpose of humbling someone who thought they had it together, and in many cases that resulted in an opportunity to glorify God for helping me overcome a difficult handicap, but also for giving me abilities I really don't posess just so they could know that he is God and is able to work many ways in our lives.
Any time I began to revel in those abilities, he allows me to be humbled. And as I look back, most of my experiences were humbling to me personally. But God is glorified in our weaknesses when we let him be. I just want to be in that place where I can say I "feel his pleasure" in whatever I do. -Bob