Michael's Monthly Column "Throwing My Loop"

Throwing My Loop…    

By:  Michael Johnson   


     No matter who we are, we all have trouble getting started in life. It's hard to get going.  Even being born is really difficult for goodness sake.  We have all sorts of problems just coming into the world - then life gets even more difficult.  We have to go to the first grade!  That’s really scary; then junior high is like a Stephen King novel, and high school?  High school can be a killer.  And later as we enter adulthood, doesn’t matter if you’re a golfer, roper, actor, college freshman, or new business owner, when you begin…things are hard.  Everybody has trouble when they start.  Even Elvis, Garth Brooks, and even Jesus – all had trouble getting untracked.  Elvis heard, “Go back to Tupelo, kid, and drive a truck.  You ain’t got it.”  In his first ever performance as a high school freshman at Yukon, Oklahoma, fellow students laughed Garth off the auditorium stage.  And long ago on the other side of the world, everyone knew, “Nothing good comes from Nazereth.  Who is this Nazerene?”  Why is that? 
     ‘Cause we’re all like old Sport – that’s why.
     Trust me when I tell you Sport came from a poor family.  He said they were so poor when he was growing up, they had a three-legged pig… ‘cause they could only afford one ham at a time.  Sport – in that little Texas town - said he heard words like “white trash” all the time, and the words hurt him deeply.  Naturally, the young man came to believe those cruel descriptions of himself and his family, and all his early years were filled with embarrassment and pain - and that caused him to suffer from a deep lack of self-esteem.  “Nothing hurts worse than that,” Sport said, looking out the window remembering.  For years, Sport conformed only too well to the expectations of those around him.  “I couldn’t look at people,” he said.  “Couldn’t talk to a girl or an adult,” he laughed.  But when he spoke those words, I noticed his eyes were not smiling.  Then something happened…
     Sport had a friend.  “My only friend,” he said.  Even though the friend lived in another town, this other young fellow had been observing Sport’s treatment from others for years.
     One day the friend said, “Why don’t you come and live with us in our town?”
     “What good would that do?” asked Sport.  “It will be just like it is here.”
     “Maybe – maybe not,” said his friend.  “People won’t know you there.  You can start over.”  Sport agreed to consider the offer.
     A short time later, he tried out for the football team.  When the team’s star player saw Sport, he sidled over to the coach and said, “We don’t need his kind.”  Naturally, Sport heard that.  Later the coach told Sport, “We have all the players we need.”  Sport asked if he could try again next year, and the coach advised it might be best if Sport tried another sport.  “I was devastated,” he said.  Then, he remembered the offer of his friend for a new beginning.
     Sport moved to a new town and a new school.  Mindful of how he had been treated and how that made him feel, Sport made a point of being kind to everyone in his new surroundings.  He smiled and spoke to the popular kids and he smiled and spoke to the unpopular as well.  He treated every person as if they possessed great dignity.  As he began to mature physically, Sport grew taller.  He lost his awkwardness, practiced basketball for hours on end, and eventually tried out for the team at his new school.  Seems while Sport may have been poor as a church mouse, he was rich in heart.  The coach was impressed with his ability to follow up after missing his first shot, retrieve his own rebound, and make baskets on his second – even third – attempts.  Sport not only made the team, but became so valuable he was named captain in his junior year.  And then another miracle…as a senior, Sport was named “Most Popular Boy” in the school.
     “It was because of my friend,” he said.  “He said things over and over to me.  Things like, ‘You have not been short-changed.  Those other people were wrong about you.  You have not been ill-equipped.’”  Sport added, “In time, because of his encouragement and acceptance of me, I began to believe in myself.”  Sport wasn’t through with miracles.  Not by a long shot.
     Because of his caring spirit, a shy girl noticed Sport.  They began to date and she told him her secret dream.  “My parents don’t have much money,” she confided.  Sport said he understood.  “But I’m smart,” she said.  “I want to be a dentist.”  The two made a plan.  After they were married, Sport worked two jobs saving every penny.  His wife worked her fingers  - and mind - to the bone, and one day their dream came into the world, no longer just a vague hope, but a beautiful piece of paper with her name inscribed and three little letters after that.  The letters DDS – Doctor of Dental Surgery.  Sport and Mrs. “Dr.” Sport began to make prosthetic devices, sold them, and made a fortune.  And Sport wasn’t through with miracles.
     Sport bought condos cheap and sold them high.  He bought real estate cheap and sold it at a premium.  Sport’s sharp mind analyzed stocks and helped him select dependable blue chippers, and Sport made millions. 
    And on this day, I sat with him in his home all these years later – his mansion – filled with antiques, statues of angels and paintings from all over the world, and flowers, flowers, and more flowers.  Such beauty, and the most beautiful of all?  The kind and caring spirits of Sport and his beloved.  And I thought to myself, “How on earth is all this possible?”
     How could this poverty stricken kid, the one every single person looked down on, how could he do all these unbelievable things?  Then he spoke…
“It was my friend,” he said.  “He told me I was well-equipped.  He told me it was so important to believe…and I did.  He helped me to see I had been given abilities and that it was my choice to believe all those others who said I was nothing, or to go into the world and try. Things began to change in my life after that.”
     I guess all miracles come through a caring person.  The people who change us tell us over and over we are more than we think.  One in particular said it best…

          “I tell you the truth.  Anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing.  He will do even greater things than these.”

Jesus - John 14:12                          

 -- Michael Johnson


Michael heading for the great Sonny Gould

Michael & Blue

Healing Shine

The Rowdy Cow Dog

Please stop
and sign our Guestbook

Send Michael
an Email

Michael Johnson Books
1172 CR 4122  Campbell, Texas 75422  (903) 862-2082

Copyright © 2003 Michael Johnson Books. All rights reserved.
webmaster pswope@candw-webmasters.com