Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Choice... Not Chance

His name is Roger Crawford. He makes his living as a consultant and a public speaker. He’s written two books, and travels all across the country working with fortune 500 companies, national and state associations, and school districts. Those aren’t bad credentials.

But if that doesn’t impress you, how about this: before becoming a consultant, he was a varsity tennis player for Loyola Marymount University and later became a professional tennis player. Still not impressed? Would you be if I told you Roger has no hands and only 1 foot!

Roger Crawford was born with a condition called ectrodactylism. When he emerged from his mother’s womb, the doctors saw that he had a thumb-like projection extending out of his right forearm. He had no palms. His legs and arms were shortened. And his left leg possessed a shrunken foot with only three toes.

The foot was amputated when he was five. Roger’s parents were told by various medical professionals that he would never be able to walk, probably would not be able to take care of himself and would never lead a normal life. After recovering from the shock, Roger’s parents were determined to give him the best chance possible for living a normal life.

They raised him to feel loved, to be strong and to develop independence. His father would say, “Roger, you are only as handicapped as you want to be.” They taught him to think, dream and believe that anything in his heart was possible.

Roger said, “Something my parents never did was allow me to feel sorry for myself or take advantage of people because of my disability.”

Roger tells the story of a phone call he received from a gentleman while in college who had read of his accomplishments in tennis. Roger agreed to meet with him at a nearby restaurant. When he stood to shake the man’s hand he discovered the man had hands identical to his.

Crawford admits that for a moment he got excited about the prospects of having a friend and comrade who shared his life and the challenges that were unique to them. But after talking with the stranger for only a few minutes he realized he was wrong.

Roger says: Instead what I found was someone with a bitter, pessimistic attitude who blamed all of life’s disappointments and failures on his anatomy. I soon realized our lives and attitudes couldn’t have been more different…. We kept in touch for several years until it dawned on me that even if some miracle were suddenly to give him a perfect body, his unhappiness and lack of success wouldn’t change. His belief that the world owed him because of his circumstance had created a cavern of despair that had shaped his spirit. He had allowed failure to seize him from the inside.

Let me borrow something from my Master right here for a moment… HIM THAT HAS EARS TO HEAR, LET HIM HEAR.

Chances are that the adversity in your life right now are no where near as difficult as Roger Crawford’s has been. Handicaps and disabilities control and limit us only if we let them, this is true not only of physical challenges, but of emotional and intellectual ones as well.

Real limitations are only in our minds not in our bodies or our situations. You are what you THINK, NOT what you think you are.

In the end, the Power of Christ equips us with the ultimate ability to choose. We are either the masters or the victims of our attitudes.


Thought it was time for another injection of a moment of truth, Peace.

All for Christ,