Dave McGillivray, a philanthropist and world class athlete has been the director of the Boston Marathon for many years. When interviewing him as a guest for Metahab's upcoming podcast series, Sliver of Hope, Stories of Survival and Growth, I asked him how he got involved in the sport of running. He told me that he was always drawn to athletics. He loved sports but due to his height, he was often not chosen or cut from teams. It was after getting cut from his high school basketball team that he came home and posted a sign over his bed 'Please God, make me grow'. Over time, he focused less on perceived limitations and more on what sports he could do. For him, that was running. Once he started, he never stopped. His list of accomplishments, awards and athletic achievements is daunting.
I chose this story and this 'plea' to begin 2019. It is not only an awesome message but a great challenge. How do we promote growth? Our own growth? Many times frustrations, failures and traumas bring forth the call to action, the motivation to grow, as it did with Dave. Also, 'make' is an action word. It represents determination, almost a defiance as noted in his request. In some of our darkest times, calling out in despair, asking for help and hoping for answers can generate resolve, determination and focus. Coming back from my own personal challenge was like that. Facing a life of uncertainty I would ask myself, "will I ever get my life back? Will it happen again"? Questions I had no clear answers to brought forth fear, depression and anger. As Dave called out for help, so did I. One quiet night I begged, "God, please take this anger and fear away, I can't live like this". What is most interesting is how our requests were answered. Not always in the way we wanted but as life unfolded, we recognized the answers. Those appeals brought about a focused determination, recognition of control and a willingness, an openness to other answers. Overtime it was clear that our wishes were granted. The answers were much richer, more complete and longer lasting. We were given more in terms of personal strengths and insights bringing forth growth in all aspects of life.
Dave didn't ask, why, 'Why am I not growing'? He respectfully but forcefully asked; 'Make me grow'. So as you begin 2019, ask, demand for yourself: Make me grow. In his youthful appeal for growth he didn't understand the implications of what he was actually asking for and why that would become so important in his future. He has faced sport, personal, professional and health challenges and the growth that occurred from these challenges has been an answer to his initial prayer. His expert handling of events and people during and after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings as well as his recent work toward recovery from bypass surgery reveals his strengths, determination and yes...his growth.
So let's set our course for 2019 toward growth. Ask for help, be patient and open for the answers. Share your stories of growth with us on our Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/Metahab.
Blessings for a happy and healthy 2019.