Saturday, June 26, 2010

To Die is Gain: Bol's Radical Faith

About a week ago, the NBA world was on a spotlight as the Celtics and the Lakers duked it out for the championship for the nth time. 7 epic games that added more story to the illustrious rivalry this two teams already have. But behind the curtains, little did we know about the sufferings of the man who's mostly known as the tallest player who graced the arena. Little did we know about the greatness of the man behind the circus attraction that we know of him. Little did we know of Manute Bol.

Manute Bol passed away recently at the age of 47, and I've always known him to be nothing but a big dude who, like Muresan and Bradley (stood at 7'7 and 7'6 respectively) didn't quite make it despite their height. But after reading an article from Jon Shields about redeeming the term Redemption in the sports arena, I'm left but in awe of how this man lived his life.

I'm usually in awe of people who are lucky to be doing the very thing that they love and get paid gajillions of dollars doing it. I'm squirming in envy on how these guys be who I wanna be and in return get rewarded with plush materials. Rarely am I in awe of a man who's broke, not because of material things, but because of helping the community that raised him. Quoting Bol, "God guided me to America and gave me a good job. But he also gave me a heart so I would look back."

This totally blasted me to look for the verse in the bible where Paul was testifying that living is in Christ, and dying is gain. Losing everything that I hold dear in is gain IF I were to gain Christ. Oh, what reward Christ is even in suffering and loss. Oh, how awesome is Christ that a guy like him could stand to be ridiculed and not care... How awesome is this Man, who I share sufferings with.

I'll leave you with that and invite you to read the article Mr. Shields wrote about Redemption and Manute Bol's radical faith. To top things off, here's a quote from his article.

Bol reportedly gave most of his fortune, estimated at $6 million, to aid Sudanese refugees. As one twitter feed aptly put it: "Most NBA cats go broke on cars, jewelry & groupies. Manute Bol went broke building hospitals."

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