Friday, December 18, 2009

December 18-20, 2009, "One Moment"

TRIUMPHANT VICTORIOUS REMINDERS
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written By: Teresa Stevens Criswell

December 18-20, 2009

"I press toward the goal of the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
~ Philippians 3:14 ~

Sweat. Tears of frustration. The temptations to give up and the torturing thoughts of what might happen. The life of a wrestler before the match.

I still remember those moments when Tim, Cody's dad would place his arm around his neck as tears of great frustration rolled down Cody's face. I remember those times when his dad would pat him on the rear saying, "Great job!" And then off on the side showing Cody more moves and how to be better next time. They celebrated and then it was on to preparing for the next match.

There were those times when Cody was making up in his mind that he was quitting as the thought of getting back on the mat made him nauseous. Yet the rewards and the victories seemed to wipe the temptations to quit out of his mind immediately.

I remember there was one night in particular where someone very close to my husband told him he needed to 'back off' on Cody and wrestling. This person continued to say that the sport of wrestling wasn't for Cody. I remember my husband expressed his thoughts to me later as he was tempted to back off, but then realized, "No. I can't afford to allow Cody to be on his own yet, I know he's not ready." My husband looked at this person and said something to this effect, "The moment I back off is the moment Cody gives up." Tim knew his son. He knew that wrestling was a 'lifeline' for Cody to remain focused.

Last night every drop of sweat and tears, temptations of giving up, lack of confidence all came to a head when the sounds of the crowd in the stands roared. The roaring sounds cresendoed when Cody stepped onto the mat. The voices of many shouting, "Cody! Go Cody! Go Iowa!" "Come on Cody!" The sounds of many feet stomping on the bleachers as the sound permeated so powerfully throughout the gymnasium.

The wrestlers got onto the middle of the mat. Cody and his opponent shook hands. The referee blew the whistle and the match began. From the moment the whistle blew to hearing the slap on the mat, the crowd stood up and cheered as Cody, undefeated, was able to place another victory under his 'belt'.

I remember at that moment tears welled up in my eyes as I saw Cody walk off the mat after shaking both coaches hands. Cody was headed towards his biggest fan, his life coach, his dad. Tim stood there with open arms as they embraced seeing that the voices of 'back off' couldn't stand a chance. It was the moment that all those other small moments were all about. It was about persevering.

The most rewarding moment? Seeing Cody all through the night encouraging his other wrestling teammates; a true reflection of his life coach, his dad.

As I saw the years prior leading up to last night; I was amazed to see the reflection of his dad. The encouraged Cody became the encourager. The coached Cody became the coach. The one who had his neck embraced was now embracing others.

It leads me to ask myself this one question. Am I a reflection of the Father God? I have been encouraged, am I now encouraging? I have been taught, am I going to start teaching what I have learned, not only with what I say, but with what I do? I have been lavishly and lovingly embraced, am I now embracing others, no matter what or where they are in their lives? Cody's victory on that mat last night was a moment I will not forget. The mat of life, we have the victory, will we obtain it by not giving up? Or will we quit, because someone said to 'back off'?

Don't let the losses tell you that you are defeated. Don't let the wins tell you that you can't learn more.

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