The First Day of the Rest of My Life

Thursday, November 29, 2007

You may remember me telling you about a football movie that made me wonder how much of a Christian I was. Tuesday, a real-life football coach may have helped make me a better one. I share the details with you in the form of an e-mail chain between my friend Michelle and I.

----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: Greg
Date: Nov 28, 2007 1:13 AM
Just wanted to say Thanks. "For what," you ask?

Thanks for believing in my prayer abilities.

You may remember me blogging about how I didn't think I did prayer well.

I just wanted to let you know that I spent the last few minutes praying for different people in my life, and it felt pretty good. I'm not saying I'm an expert yet, but I think it's a decent start.

I figured you might want to hear about that. Hope you and your leg are well.


----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: Michelle
Date: Nov 28, 2007 11:07 AM

Wow that's awesome! I'm glad you're sticking to it because I find that prayer can be this amazing experience between you and god. I know that during my whole knee thing, prayer was the one thing that I could do to get through this whole ordeal. Even though at times, I didn't appreciate or understand why this happened to me, prayer allowed me to get out my frustrations. I read somewhere that prayer is not just a one way road... it's not just you talking to God but prayer allows us to be open to being blessed by God, whether it's directly through us or a blessing through someone we've prayed for. Anyways, thanks for keeping me updated on this. Lord knows I'm not the best prayer, but I know it's just important to keep the lines of communication open. :-)

As for my knee, I'm definitely better. Physical therapy still kicks my butt. I'm just happy I can drive now. I'm now working towards walking without a crutch or without limping. Otherwise, the doctor seems really happy about my progress. So going back to prayer, I really see God's blessings during this whole ordeal. Even though God temporarily took away almost everything in my life (work, friends, independence), God really showed me what a great immediate family I have. My sister and parents have been amazing! Also, he has given me an appreciation of the little accomplishments in life. My knee will never bend the way it used to, but I'm happy that it can bend as much as it can now.

Anyways, sorry this letter is so long. You know that I ramble so I'll just stop here. Glad to hear that you're still seeking after God. Just know that he never asks us to be perfect but just to give it a try.


----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: Greg
Date: Nov 28, 2007 9:07 PM

Hey there.I'm glad my experience got you so jazzed. I'm not sure what caused it would be as celebratory, but I'd like to share it with you.

I ended up playing hooky yesterday and gave myself the day off work. During the morning, I ended up watching ESPN2. They have a show called Mike and Mike in the Morning that's also on the radio. During the show, they were talking about Sean Taylor, the football player who died from a gunshot wound. They had on a guy who played for Joe Gibbs, the current coach of the Redskins, the team Taylor played for. He told a story about having a one-on-one meeting with Coach Gibbs one morning. The coach pointed over to a whiteboard with a list of names of players who were suffering from injuries. The coach said that he would pray for each player by name every day.

Last night, as I was trying to get to sleep, that story came into my head, as well as the memory of my ex telling me she prayed for me after we saw "Bruce Almighty". (I mean she told me that after the movie, she didn't pray after the movie... just want to make sure I'm clear.) I figured I might as well try it. I prayed for a bunch of people. I prayed for the girl I've been dating, I prayed for my friends in my young adults' group. I prayed for Suzanne. I prayed for Sean Taylor's girlfriend and baby. I kept at it for a few minutes, before I got it in my head to tell you about it.

It was all kind of random, but it felt good. I don't know how to build on this, but I figure it's a good start. To be honest, I hadn't been praying (or going to church) much over the last couple of weeks. Now I'm worried about keeping this streak alive, you know?

I kind of worry that my prayers won't be heard, though. Would blessings really be poured out upon the friends I prayed for last night? Should I even worry about that?

Anyway, I think I'm rambling. Just wanted to give you more details. Take care.

Your Friendly Neighborhood Brown Boy,

----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: Michelle
Date: Nov 28, 2007 9:13 PM

Maybe it's silly of me to think this but I truly believe that God shows us things to encourage us to act. I think it's one way that God "speaks" to us. So that being said, I completely understand the urge to pray after watching something on T.V. Also, I truly believe that God hears every single prayer we lift up to him. You may not see/hear the answer right away or even the answer you were expecting, but I truly believe that he listens and responds on his time.

For example, I was watching this sermon once, by this fairly famous Dallas pastor (Bishop T.D. Jakes) who said that when you're praying for an answer to why life is going a certain way, sometimes the answer you will only get is: "I'm inconveniencing your life now, in order to bless you later." I wrote this down thinking that it was a nice thing to remember and actually I had lost it almost immediately after scribbling this note down. Anyways, I recently found it and what a blessing it is for me to read NOW because during these past 4-5 months, I've really struggled with why this all happened to me. As I mentioned before, I feel like during this time with my injured knee, God stripped me of everything that seemed important to my life. But even in the "desert place," God still blesses me. This note that I'd forgotten about actually reminded me that there's a purpose to this whole knee thing. And now that I'm at the end of my recovery, I understand in retrospect that my experience with this ordeal was done for a purpose that's just beginning to be realize. Ok so now I'm not sure if I'm making much sense anymore. So anyways, my point is that I think it's understandable (and what a blessing!!!) that this random event happened.

And you know, all you have to do is try to keep up with your prayers. The amazing thing about God is that you can never run out of chances. Even if you stop going to church or stop praying, I know from experience that God will always eventually pull you back. He'll drop reminders through sports stories or forgotten notes that he's there. And you have the choice to either respond or ignore him, but I think even if you ignore him, he'll just keep putting things in your head to remind you he's there.

So anyways, thanks for sharing. I think I really needed to be reminded too. Because I'll admit while I type all this out, it's been a while since I've regularly prayed and even longer since I've been to church. Be happy that you've been blessed with a church as it's now 4 (almost 5) years since I've moved to dallas, and I've yet to find a church home. I have a few that I like to visit regularly but not one that I feel like it's a good fit. Anyways, thanks again.


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