One guy's thoughts on life, love, faith and his world

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Night to Shine

You really had to be there to experience it, my words certainly won’t do the night justice.  Hopefully, I can get across just a bit of the wonder of the evening.

On February 9, 2018, the church my family and I attend – St. Pius X in Greensboro, NC – was one of more than 540 churches from across the world to host A Night to Shine.  The Tim Tebow Foundation sponsors this amazing event which is a prom night experience for people with special needs.  My family was privileged to volunteer for the event.  My wife helped the women do their makeup, my oldest son served and mingled with caretakers and parents of the guests while my youngest son and I had the privilege of being a “buddy” to one of the guests attending the event.

From the second the guests were welcomed by our volunteers to the end of the night, keeping emotions in check was difficult to say the least. The absolute, unequivocal pure joy of the guests was indescribable.  And it was contagious.  Not in a flu-season contagious type of way, but in a “I wish I could bottle this feeling and pass it on” type of way. 
The dancing from the guests was also contagious.  Now, I’d like to think that I have some pretty slick dance moves coming from a mother that taught dancing for years.  My wife may disagree with me.  That said, you couldn’t help but get your groove on because the dance floor was hot!  Dancing with the Stars could have filmed an entire season in just two hours that night.  And every single one of the guests were Stars. 

Tim Tebow and his foundation got it right when they named the event Night to Shine.  Each of the guests, volunteers and churches had the chance to shine that night and shine they did.  However, those weren’t the only things that were shining that night.  Faith, hope and love were shining.  In short, Christ was shining that night. 

I met a lot of shining stars that evening, but there was one person in particular that touched my heart.

Night to Shine is where I met Nathan. 

Together, Nathan and I ate, danced, smiled and laughed.  He had a way of reminding me to see the joy in all things both big and small.  I saw Christ in the faces of each guest that night.  There is no other way to describe it but pure joy and love.

I not only saw Christ in the face of Nathan, I had the honor and privilege of experiencing it firsthand.  

I started the night as Nathan’s “buddy”. 

By the end of the night and now each day moving forward, I am blessed to be Nathan’s friend.   

Friday, January 19, 2018

Attitude, Gratitude and a Little Miracle

“Have an attitude of gratitude.”
-          Thomas Monson

A noble thought indeed, and I would go so far as to say it can be used as a mantra for life.  The thing is though, it’s not always easy.  In fact, sometimes it can be downright difficult because life can be hard.  Real damn hard sometimes. 

There’s a little secret about that though – it’s okay.  It’s okay to feel like it is a struggle to be grateful at times.  Life is not always roses and unicorns, and sometimes it is simply the effort of being grateful that counts most. 

And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

One of the things that I’ve personally learned recently is to try to be grateful for those things which you may not even like at the time.  For me, that’s not always easy, especially when it is something that I don’t want.  Many times, what I want versus what I need are two different things and while I think I may know the difference, that’s not always the case. 

I do have faith that there is One that knows that difference and He will always provide me with what I need, even if I don’t recognize it at the time.

For that, I am grateful. 

If you are having trouble, remember that it is okay.  Start small.  Maybe before you lay your head on your pillow at night, find just one thing to be grateful for throughout that day.  Over time, try to find three, or five.  It doesn’t have to be big, keep it simple, keep it small.  Little miracles count just as much as big miracles.

In the end, no matter how the chips may be falling at the time, if you put forth your best effort to be grateful for what you have and who you are, the more things you will find to be grateful for.

And that is the true miracle.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

One more

The other night, I had the opportunity to watch a fantastic movie with my son called Hacksaw Ridge.  While the movie was fantastic, it was even better because of the time spent with Emerson.

The film was set during World War II in the Pacific Theater where Allies were attempting to take over a ridge to move forward to Okinawa against the Japanese. 

Based on true events, the main character of the movie, Desmond Doss, was a conscientious objector that would not bear arms but served his country as a medic during the horrific battle.  The focus tells the story of how Doss risked his life to save many others all while holding to his beliefs.  (There are no spoilers in this blog)!

In particular, there is one line spoken by Doss that I’ve been thinking about. 

“Lord, help me get one more.”

Doss prays this multiple times as guidance and protection to help him save one more life on Hacksaw Ridge.  He ends up getting about 75 more.  While many of us may never be faced with this type of life and death situation, the meaning can ring true in our daily lives.

Maybe it isn’t as drastic as saving a life, maybe it can be.  Perhaps it is “Lord, let me help one person today,” or “Lord, let me see Christ in one person today.”  It could even be “Lord, let one person see Christ in me today.”

Saying this is easy.  Living it can be a different matter entirely, especially with all the negativity in the world.  It can be easier to do nothing.  

However, if we could just get one more each day, wouldn’t our lives and the lives of those around us be in a better place?  Not five, ten or twenty but just one more. 

And maybe, just maybe, that one more that you help today will save them from their own personal Hacksaw Ridge.