Three words. It can change the whole course of the day, especially when God intervenes in timing. He knows when you need to hear them spoken to the soul, when you need the nourishment because the circumstances around you have left you exhausted and dehydrated. I can’t even count the times this has happened during my journey, the last 11 years.
Last night, I found myself on Youtube watching those inspirational-acts-of-kindness movies that get you a bit teary eyed. It might be part of my personality traits, but I got to admit…all those childhood days of pretending to be Florence Nightingale came to memory and I suddenly wanted to do something for someone. Something big. I wanted to be one of those inspirational stories; I wanted to make a difference in someone’s life. All I could think of was donating money to different places. Why does it always seem t0 come to that?
Today I finished an autobiography, Unthinkable, by Scott Rigsby. He is a double amputee above the knees. At the age of 18, a truck collision shattered just about everything in his body, especially his future dreams. Reading the first two chapters you clearly see that it is a miracle he is even alive. Over the next twenty years, Rigsby went through countless surgeries, therapy, drug addiction, party life, seven years of college (and still graduating with no sense of direction in life), a severe case of TBI (traumatic Brain Injury) and depression, debt and no money for bills, in and out of jobs and lawyer cases for settlement issues, and the constant public eye at his “disability.” I think he went through just about everything.
In his own journey, God led him to a place where Rigsby surrendered everything and it was only then that God started to piece together a new course: the unthinkable. Rigsby had always been a runner, but dreams of a future in that seemed impossible; he is now a life showing that nothing is impossible for God. After picking up a few sport related magazines with stories of triathlon athletes, he got a crazy idea–he would participate in a triathlon. He had virtually nothing going for him..not in the physical or financial realm, training or knowledge of what this all entitled…he just knew this was the open door that God was gently leading him through–the chance to use his disabilities to bring God glory for the capability.
As I read, it became obvious that God used ordinary people with big hearts to help Rigsby accomplish his dream: the Hawaiian Ironman triathlon. They saw a need and simply used their time, talents or training skills, connections, hospitality to meet the need. His supporters didn’t act because they wanted to be a huge “inspirational teary-eyed story.” They helped because their thoughts were for Rigsby…they were his “Thinking of you” crew. He couldn’t have achieved his goal on his own. Rigsby now uses his testimony to help others cope with loss and shattered dreams. He doesn’t do it by heroic deeds, but words of encouragement and guidance.
This weekend has left me with many thoughts–I still don’t feel like I have a dream. I still see limits in my life physically, but learned much from Rigsby’s testimony of trusting God with the impossible. I need to be more in prayer for direction–how God can use me (my time and talents) to help others. I don’t want to just say, “Thinking of you.” I want it sincere, with Love.
Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, “What are you doing for others?” -Martin Luther King, Jr.