Last weekend, my oldest asked me, “Dad if you could change something in your past, what would it be?” That was definitely a random question from him but, not unusual. He’s definitely the analyst between he and his brother. We had just seen the latest Terminator movie so, I am going to assume that this is where the question came from. Anyway, as we pulled into Target to waste some time before going home, I thought about his question so that I could give a halfway intelligent answer. I said to him, “I don’t think I would change a thing. If I were to go back too far, then you and your brother wouldn’t be here. If I didn’t go back far enough, then I may not be where I am at this point in my life. I’m cool where I am.”
That conversation made me think a little more. What if we were able to go back and change some things in our lives? I’m not just talking about the bad stuff. I mean, anything. If I could change the fact that I got out of the Army and stayed in, I would have more than likely been deployed to God knows where for God knows how long. More importantly, there would be a question of would I make it out alive? If I could change the fact that I was laid off more than once, there’s a possibility that I could have been a decent job making good money. The flip side is that I could have missed out on some of the experiences that I have had that, quite frankly, have given me some life lessons that I so desperately needed. I guess the point I’m trying to make here is that the things that have happened in our lives have all be for a reason. Yes, some of them have been bad choices and other good ones. If you’ve made some bad choices in your life, I pray that you have learned from them so that you can be better than who you were back then. If you’ve made some good choices in your life, I pray that you can appreciate them and hopefully cherish them over and over. Here’s the rub: The bad choices are only relative to the time that they occurred. I’d like to think that the so-called bad choices enabled me to grow, learn more about myself, push abilities to their limits and, more importantly, learn how to rely on God. If every choice I made was good in my eyes, then what would have really learned? How could I grow as a man, father, etc? How would I learn how to rely on God? Definitely something to think about, isn’t it?
The next time someone asks you “what would you change?”, think about where you are now and what you could lose if you did change it. I’m pretty sure you’d be happy where you are.
I’m not the biggest boxing fan but, I do know that, when it comes to this sport, one of the most important places the combatants go to is their own corner. There, each man or woman gets instructions, care, attention and most importantly, encouragement. You will always see a cut man as well as a man there to give him or her a drink of water. However, it’s the trainer that gives the fighter what they need to go back in and fight. “They’re coming at you with the left more than the right so, stay away from the left jabs.” These are good instructions because the trainer sees things differently. He sees you as well as sees your opponent. The strength and weaknesses that can help you turn the tide in your favor. A good trainer does that. Angelo Dundee was one of the best because he was also a trainer for the best, Muhammad Ali. I am convinced that had Angelo not been in Ali’s corner, a lot of those victories could and would have gone the other way.
What am I saying here? I’m saying that a good fighter is great and being a great fighter is paramount but, if you don’t have that one person in your corner, some of those victories can prove costly. From my own personal experiences as of late, my corner has no one but the best in it. God, being the most important but He has seen fit to give me a few and one in particular to help me fight through this thing called life. I’ve lost a few rounds but my corner has been there to give me what I needed to hear; even though I wasn’t ready to necessarily hear it. I had to listen to my corner! There was once a time when I was younger when Dad would tell me, “everybody’s in your corner but YOU!” That didn’t matter much to me until now. “My corner” has been there and I had to make a decision to join them there in order to get back in and fight.
I’ll leave you with this. There are two types of people. Those that fight and those will have to. The key is to pick your battles or, they will be chosen for you. When you have picked your battle, make sure your corner has the right people in it. You definitely don’t want to get the wrong plan of attack. I’m really fortunate and blessed that “My corner” knows what I need and can see what I need to do to get back in the ring and fight because “My corner” has a better view of the entire ring. As long as “My corner is there, I WILL WIN!!