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Monday, May 11, 2009
When in Rome a testimonal Devotional 21 John 5:3-8
This devotional deals with real issues about real matters from the cases of real people. In this matter , this devotional will be handled with sensitivity and respect to all the parties mentioned in this piece.
Before you, you see an image of "Maximus" (Russell Crowe) characterized lead role in the movie The Gladiator.
No, I'm not here to tell you that I have suddenley became a Gladiator, because in reality I wouldn't last 10 seconds in that enviroment.
For me to tell you about this story , I use an image of Maximus as a symbolic measurement for my childhood.
Usually the birth of a baby is one of the happiest events to ever happen in a parents life.
Well my birth was filled with joy an sorrow. My parents found out that I would be diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. A certain disabillity to the legs, I was susposed to be confined to a chair for the remainder of my natrual life.
My dad refused to take that, day an night he would do home phyiso to help me with my legs. My parents both thought it would be eaiser for me to get the help I needed rather than sue the hospital for millions.
As I grew , it became a daily struggle for my parents to look after my physical condition. It was stressful to say the least. I'm sure at first sight every parent wants the best for their child.
I think the same can be said for my parents , they seem to accomplish that sometimes but by very misguided means. To them they thought were doing the best they can, but for me I would beg to differ. If I was to talk to anybody within the family I would get the same answers.
"Anthony, its how they were raised, thats their form of discipline because they know no other." My parents were raised in the 50's which in that time meant " a form of hard discipline." So you can raise your eyebrows and think for a moment of what I am refering to. You know that old saying , if your parents get mad at you and discipline you, its because they care.
Well I terrified that they cared a little too much. If you know where I am going with this. The reason I felt like that is because my brothers and sister were not disciplined the same way. "So what reward did I win that they felt the need to discipline me so much? I believe when it came to my parents discipling me they had a bibical mentality that wasn't fully understood. Their bibical mentallity was "Spare the rod, spoil the child."
I am constantly reminded of this line from the book "The Huricane."
"The kindest thing I can say about my childhood is that I survived it." Ruban Carter. I read that book when I was 18 and I thought Wow , so ture.
My childhood survival is due to my grandmother, who took me for most weekends and brought me to church.
Throughout my childhood my parents main goal for me was to live life like everybody else, enjoying the same advantages as everyone else. This is where I say my parents used misguided means. As a child I grew up watching wrestling and movies like Rocky.
When this happened my mother had a constant saying when I would tune into watch wrestling or another Rocky boxing match, "Anthony if you spent as much time on your phyiso as you do watching wrestling you would have the strength of a bull."
Reguardless even at my young age, I knew my my parents tatics to strength my physical condition weren't of always the best kind. My father had seen that I had taken a liking to Rocky films , so he began to raise me up like Rocky.
What do I mean by that, check this list out.
1.In the morning I would drink 4 eggs mixed in a cup blended with milk, and I was asked to drink it EVERYDAY.
2. I would be asked to run outsside for aleast four hours per day, you guessed it! EVERYDAY.
3. In the summer, I would be asked to wear the heaviest clothes and go for a run for three hours. This purpose was intended for me to sweat.
During the afternoons I still had my regular phyiso.
My condition wasn't satisfying to my father, throughout my life I went through 14 , yes 14 sugeries in multiple areas of the legs and bones. Nothing had seem to work , no correction to my physical appearance was made.
In what I can only believe was pure fustration my father had sold our house and we moved into the contry from a former small town. Just for the record if you move a child with physical needs to an area such as the country with stores and the busyness of a town far away,
The child (me) had no choice but to feel isolared and rather dependent on everyone, which is what I felt. In the eyes of my father he was doing a great service for me, buying a property that held 22 acers of land.
All the more land for me to use and run with. Lets face it. There's only so many times you can run without getting fustrated because you are going nowhere but back and forth. My father wasn't satisfied with just me running he instructed me to run the entire length of the property 10 times a day and yes it again was EVERYDAY.
During my running in a effort to correct my footwork, my father took it AGAIN one step further and took some rope and tied bricks to my feet. This was to ensure that I would remember to pick feet up when I ran.
I can flat out tell you that none of the above worked to improve my physical condition. Why you ask? Even though my parents would try the best they could to improve my quality of life, I had no motivation.
All of what I did, the runnning , the boxing, the phyiso to me it felt like a chore. A chore I wanted to nothing to do with. I did the "chore" to avoid more raging discipline, which I recieved anyway. Why? In my father's eyes I just didn't work hard enough.
My time to prove my point was coming, what point did I have to prove? I always told myse;f that if I wanted to correct myself than I would do it on my terms and not because a chore,
Two years ago, I had what I can only discribe as the most painful surgery I'd ever have. It included 4 months in rehab. I was quite happy about that because I would spend sometime away from home. I would finally get a chance to do things my way rather than what Dr. Dad had prescribed for me.
I did this because Jesus himself gave me the desire to get up an walk. These days, I don't struggle with C.P. As I used to when I was small. I believed that I could do it, and through that the inner desire was planted in me. Why would I want to be like everyone else? This is what God desires to show that I don't have to go to extraordinary lengths to be a "strong man." Jesus IS my STRENGTH!
3Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed.[b] 5One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, "Do you want to get well?"
7"Sir," the invalid replied, "I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me."
8Then Jesus said to him, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk." 9At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.
Pay attention to the disabled man at the pool.
I have taken this clip from Rocky 4 to show an "example" of how desire works when it cames to my conditioning and how my father raised me.
This a song I found that perfectly and beautifully describes my abussive childhood. Take a listen....