The cancer was winning. It was no longer a matter of if, but when. The tumors that invaded Jim Valvano’s body were growing and they were beginning to rob him of the things that defined him. The kinetic energy and enthusiasm were fading fast with each chemotherapy treatment.
“There’s no single sport that has the hold on our dreams and fantasies the way baseball does. Sidd has become a symbol, like the cornfield in Iowa.” — Myra Gelband, former Sports Illustrated editor
In an era when Hollywood was creating uniformed ballplayers walking out of cornfields and crushing majestic moon shots in to the New York City sky, the famed George Plimpton was busy crafting a fictional baseball character too: Hayden “Sidd” Finch.
Last month, when Time magazine published private letters from Mother Theresa, letters confessing her doubts about God and His existence, unlike so many who were bewildered, Seacoast Church senior pastor Greg Surratt understood.
“I think we all have doubts at times, at various levels,” said Surratt. “One of the things I have learned to do is doubt my doubts. A lot of times when you have a thought, it may be a doubting thought, a negative thought, if you continue to think it or affirm it, it becomes a part of history, this must be truth. So I challenge myself to doubt the doubts, doubt the negative thoughts.”
When Jamey Chadwell was introduced as head coach of Charleston Southern University’s football program two years ago, he told the fans and the media:
“We’re going to coach with passion and we’re going to be intentional about our relationships. We are going to engage this community. We are going to engage this student body. This is their team. We want the student body to be proud of their team – and that doesn’t happen overnight.”
Passion. Intention. Relationships. Pride. Those, said Chadwell, were the ingredients that would lead to success for the CSU’s football program. Oh, and patience. Remember that last statement, “… that doesn’t happen overnight.”
As Becky Patterson rocked her six-month old daughter, Micayla, she began to cry. Through the tears she whispered a prayer: Lord, I want so much more for her. I want her to know you. I want her to walk with you.
Married at age 17, a mother by 18, Becky was growing up faster than most. She met and dated Christopher in high school. He [Christopher] was in Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and she [Becky] in Youth for Christ.
Robert E. Lee Hall towers over the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly campground on Black Mountain, North Carolina. Eight majestic white columns buoy the entrance that is fronted by eight long, wide steps ascending to the wooden platform porch where dozens of green wooden rocking chairs are spread out across the deck.
“The things that have happened there, the lives that have been changed; it’s a powerful place,” said Lance Shealy, Fellowship of Christian Athletes summer camp director at Black Mountain. “It’s the reason why we continue to hold camp there today. It’s because of the legacy and impact that place has had.”