I was watching football Sunday night, and the best part of the game was at half time when they did a special on Jim Kelly, former quarterback for the Buffalo Bills. Back in the 90’s Jim took the Bills to 4 consecutive Super Bowls….and lost every one.
He also had a son that was born with a terminal illness who died at the tender age of 8. Now, in his early 50’s, he has been diagnosed with cancer. You would think that any of these things would cause someone to give up on life, but you would be wrong.
Jim has the incredible ability to see the glass half full in the middle of the worst storms that life can throw at you. How does someone do that? How can you smile on your hospital bed when you are suffering and encourage those that have come to see you? How can you still go out at practice with the kids at your football camp when you feel like pulling the covers over your head and just wanting the pain to stop?
Well, I am not positive, but I am pretty sure he has a heart the size of Texas. Jim’s faith in God, faith in others, and faith in himself are unshakable. I have no doubt that he is the type of man that would gladly lay down his own life if it would save another.
When Andre Reed (Jim Kelly’s primary receiver) was being inducted into the Football Hall of fame, guess who was there in the crowd cheering HIM on? Yup….Jim, despite his bout with cancer and continual pain made the trip to honor his friend and teammate. Jim threw Andre a pass when he was on the stage. Andre laughed that he was so nervous he thought he was going to drop it, but he called it the most important pass that Jim had ever thrown to him. Is there any wonder why people love this guy?
Who would not go to the mat for a leader like this? Here are the lessons that Jim taught me without ever knowing me personally:
- Do what you love in life, but always remember that what you do for a living is not who you are.
- Remember to give thanks for every day you are given. Every day is a gift…that is why they call it the present.
- Love others totally and unselfishly. Give especially to those are incapable of giving you anything in return. That is true love.
- When you are going through the storm, don’t ask “Why me?” Say…”Wow….me!” There is a reason God has chosen YOU to go through this and something very good will come out of it regardless of how bad it looks right now. Generations can be touched by your actions, whether good or bad.
- Never give up to fear. Keep the faith, stay the course, and give all you have.
Jim, thanks for reminding me that what we do on a daily basis matters. Thanks for inspiring me to give my best. God bless you. I pray for your healing and that God bless you!