Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Perspectives on a Ceiling

This kid went to my high school and graduated this year. Thought I would post his speech that someone read for his at graduation. You can find his story HERE but the long and short of it is he got some crazy disease that caused both his legs to be amputated during his senior year. Kid knows something about trials.

Perspectives on a Ceiling

Greetings to all, and thank you so very much for providing me with the opportunity to communicate with you today. I want to also thank my good friend, Michael Caligiuri, for standing in for me (no pun intended!!!)

Seriously, why Perspectives on a Ceiling you may ask?.....Well, as most of you know I have spent the last couple of months having more of an opportunity to “look up at the ceiling” than I have much else……..funny what you see when the only place to look is up.20

That rather humbling feeling makes you ponder things a bit….and maybe adds a new perspective.

One thing we ALL know is life has its share of “tests “that’s for sure. For example, to get here, WE have all endured the tests of some 13 years of academic rigor. Not to mention, tryouts and tests of all kinds ranging from theatre to track, from first base to first chair, from social studies class to “which social class??” and the list goes on. Whether it is chemistry or crew (had to have a blatant plug for my rowing mates of course) we have all had tests we will all endure tests.

And yes, the tests will vary in intensity and challenge. Some tests won’t make sense….Some we will never understand …But what matters is not so much the results we achieve but the CHARACTER WE REVEAL

The Bible tells us that “blessed is the man who perseveres under trials” How blessed we will be depends on how we respond to the trials, will we rise to meet a challenge? Will we study just a little more? Will we try again even though we have failed? Or worse yet, we refuse to try just because we MIGHT fail …Will we be afraid to go just a little further to show a kindness even if it costs us something?

I think these are the responses that often distinguish the best of us from the rest of us…

It is the gamers and strivers that push on just a little longer and a little further,…..those that make an accomplishment seem to rise above others of their kind due to the sheer determination and iron will which birthed them that inspire us all, these are truly the memorable moments and people of life.

And I want you to know this, you are all those inspiring kinds of people to me. You see, most all of you have taken a moment to reach out to me…to try to sign a card, to participate in a walk …to check on me through someone or some blog and most of all, to pray for me and my family!!….

This has been called a miracle by some, and certainly unbelievable by most…...And yes…I am a living testimony to just what a difference you as individuals, and as friends together could make, as you shout up to Heaven,, and what a difference it did in fact make!!!

Let me say for sure that I know the extra mile works. the extra word, the extra gift of care, the extra prayer….OH boy does it work!!!…… Know this, that as you face tests and trials in the future …th at it is not the trials, but your faith and your reaction to them that will be the measure of you true Character

And remember….”when you do what you can, God will do what you can’t”. So please accept my sincere thanks and gratitude for being my friends and my intercessors….Accept my congratulations for your accomplishments and your successes….And I know no matter what challenges you face, you will pass the test!

God Bless You All.
Your Friend,

1 comment:

Tyler said...

Thanks for posting this, Chris.

First, allow me to contribute my medical two cents' worth as a future (hopefully!) doctor.

Blake had necrotizing fascitis, which is nerd-speak for the flesh-eating bacteria. It's the same bacteria that causes strep throat, but don't worry, not everybody who gets strep throat gets necrotizing fascitis. The key is that some members of that species make a protein that lets them evade our defenses, burrow into tissue, and chew it up, more or less. Thankfully, those ones are much rarer than regular old strep throat. If doctors catch it quickly, they can administer antibiotics to stop the infection from spreading and killing the patient, but often times the tissue at the site of infection is destroyed, and won't grow back, so they need to amputate.

That being said, it certainly is crucially important that we heed Blake's message. "But what matters most is not the results we achieve but the character we reveal." This message is proclaimed far too infrequently, and believed even more infrequently.

I believe that Satan takes special delight in persuading us to strive for good things, but for the wrong reasons. It is disheartening how this subtle corruption can cause such pain down the road, when our strivings fail, and we do not get the "achievements" we feel we deserve or need, not realizing that a heart tempered in love, and courage, and humility is worth far more, and that if anyone tells us differently, or flaunts what they have, our response should not be envy, but empathy, for they are mistaken.