My breathing was heavy and uncontrollable, which exacerbated the dryness in my mouth. Sweat streamed down my face. My arms felt like I was holding onto 100-pound weights, while my legs began to feel weak. The headgear pressed uncomfortably against my forehead. I knew that this match was unwinnable. The opponent bested me in every wrestling move. With swift execution, he lunged forward and caught me in a single-leg and then forcibly lifted me in the air and slammed my helpless body onto the mat. He hurled me over and thrust one side of my face against the rubber mat with his forearm. And within seconds, my opponent executed a flawless half-nelson and pinned me effortlessly. The referee blew the whistle while slamming his hand against the mat. It was done. My opponent won. I lost.
When I look back on that day, I should have accepted that momentary loss and carried on throughout the rest of the wrestling season. Instead, I made a foolhardy decision that had severely undermined a character-building milestone in my life, which regrettably led to a long-lasting deficit in my ability to endure difficult trials. That reckless decision was quitting. And the ensuing consequences followed me for many years. If it wasn’t for God reaching down with His divine hand, I would not have been given a second chance to learn how to endure life’s defining moments.
Today, when I look at the man in the mirror – a fool for Christ’s sake – I cannot take any credit for what God alone has done for me. Only by His grace and love, I've learned to do all things…[face all hardships]…[endure all trials]…through him who strengthens me.
Moreover, this lesson has proved its worth during my fight against cancer. For the past 6+ years, this physical battle of mine has afforded me further refinements in the ability to press on and continue to fight, especially during this time when our country is experiencing a spike of coronavirus cases across 23 states.
So, as a cancer patient, not only will I continue to fight this disease inside me, I will usher that same fighting spirit to protect myself and others during this national pandemic, which sadly has taken more than 118,000 American lives.
I hope you will join me and continue this fight by:
- Wearing face covers in public;
- Maintaining the recommended 6-feet distance between yourself and others;
- Washing your hands; and
- Being mindful of individuals like me who are suffering from immunity deficiency due to cancer treatment.
When we look back on this national coronavirus pandemic, there will be those who directly (e.g., health workers) or indirectly (e.g., people following CDC’s guidelines) contributed to the eradication of COVID-19, whereas there will be many individuals who hindered the national efforts by quitting too soon, forgetting that this is a long-term fight. Please do not let it be you.
To learn more about how to continue to press on, go to:
- CDC Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information
- John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
- Google COVID-19 Health Information
- YouTube COVID-19 Resources
Be safe. Be well. Be strong.