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Ron Barefoot, Pastor

I had the great opportunity this past Sunday to attend a practice of the “Revolution Adaptive Sports” team. It’s youth basketball for children who are in wheelchairs. As you might can imagine, I was extremely excited to get to see it. It also warmed my heart to see how much fun my Braxton had bouncing the ball and passing it with one of the coaches.

My son Braxton is four years old and gets around in a wheelchair. The doctors have been incapable of diagnosing his condition. In short, he got sick when he was 1 1/2 and whatever sickness he had attacked his muscles in his lower extremities. After almost 2 years of searching for answers as to what had happened and getting no answers, my wife and I decided to turn our attention to the future.

Those of you who have children with special needs or a disability can understand that I’ve had some dark days. I’ve asked God why him over and over. I have felt a deep guilt and wondered if I would have done something different would this have happened. I’ve cried a river of tears and I often find myself still crying over what he might never be able to do.

My prayers have been for God to give him power in those legs because I’ve focused on all the things that Braxton will not be able to do if he never walks. I’ve found myself disappointed and accepting that I might never get to see him do the things I’ve been able to do. In short, I’ve focused on the things I don’t have.

Sunday I was reminded to be thankful for what I do have. See, after reading the first part of this you may be feeling sorry for me or feeling sorry for Brax, heck, you may be feeling sorry for yourself. God has a plan for us and while I openly admit I don’t know what that plan is, I know I’m going to accept it.

Sunday I saw kids who were fired up to play some ball. Sure they didn’t run, jump, and dunk, but they wheeled, crashed, and even hit the floor hard at times. I was amazed at the level of instruction they got and the attentiveness they maintained to practice and make a play. I didn’t see basketball being played like I had always played, I saw something far more exciting and exhilarating.

God showed me Sunday the things that Brax can and will do. One of the parents told us, “every where our daughter goes she is made to feel as if she is not normal, but here she is the norm.” See, for 1 1/2 hours on Sunday these kids get to be Kobe, Shaq, Lebron or Michael Jordan. They are only focused on what they can accomplish on the court together. They see what it takes to work as a team and to acheive victory and then they set out to win the game.

God help me to never focus on what I can’t do or what I don’t have. I realize I’m not the greatest writer, the best speaker or the model of success. But God has given me the tools to go and spread His Word, to impact tomorrow in His name and the ability to see the things I can do. It’s my prayer that I’ll be blinded to the things I can’t do and see only the things I can.

What are you looking at? Do you see your mistakes, your inabilities, your insecurities, your fears? Don’t! Quit looking at those things at start looking at what God has given you. You have people to love you, a Father in heaven who loves you and blessings in abundance. If you’re focused on something else, you will never see the things you have.

I’m sure some will say the kids I saw Sunday aren’t normal. They aren’t! But it’s not a physical impairment that makes them that way, it’s the fact that they have greater determination, a stronger will and a better love for life than anyone who I would call normal. Normal is so 1990’s anyway! Look at the things you’ve got, not the things you don’t.

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