Monday, July 27, 2015

Who is the Well-adjusted Man?

Let me be clear up front...the purpose of this blog is not to feed my ego, fill up free time (I have almost none), or feel more connected with other people out there (I am a very comfortable introvert anyway).  The purpose of this blog is to practice writing my unique view on things in such a way that it may inspire or encourage others.  Believe it or not, I actually like to write.  Once upon a time I was actually an English major, but that didn't last long (that story is coming soon).  So writing is something that I do enjoy, but have gotten away from in years past as the "cares of this world" have grown.

So in order to start off this new blogging experiment I thought I should share my story.  Trust me, I am definitely not one for spilling my guts out to the world, but I've found that if we don't revisit the past from time to time then we are doomed to repeat it...and my past needs NO repeating.

I grew up in East Texas.  My parents divorced when I was eight years old and I was a very rebellious teenager.  Because I was so angry I liked hitting people and became a pretty good football player.  I was a beefed up middle linebacker who was the epitome of the prideful jock.  I was good enough to go to the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) to play football.  After two of the hardest years of my life I had failed at almost everything there.  Beaten down and humbled, I left to pursue something in the health field (the Naval Academy, an engineering school, would only let me be an English major at that point).  So I transferred to the University of Oklahoma (OU) to study Health and Exercise Science.  Now this is where the story gets interesting.

Two months after leaving USNA I began taking summer classes at OU.  Because I didn't know a soul at OU I would drive two hours every weekend back to my dad's house to do stuff like laundry and watch TV (which I didn't have in my dorm room).  One Friday night on June 27, 2003 I came to see my dad, but had to first meet him at his church to get the house key.  It was the last night of vacation bible school at this First Baptist Church.  I snuck in the back of the service as the preacher (Brother Doug) was speaking to the little kids.  To this day I couldn't tell you what his exact words were, but I like to think that because he was speaking at a juvenile level that I finally got it.  With everyone bowing their head, he ended by asking the children to raise their hand if they knew they were hurting and lost and needed Jesus to save them.  While fighting back tears I raised my hand in the back of the room.  I thought, "What am I doing?!  Get your hand down idiot!"  After raising our heads he then asked any of the children that raised their hand to come down and pray, and a few did.  I did not.  After all, I was twenty years old at a vacation bible school service for crying out loud.  We were then dismissed and I walked to my dad to get the house keys from him.  I was trying to hurry so I could run out of there.  As I was talking to my dad I felt a hand on my shoulder.  It was Brother Doug.  He firmly shook my hand and looked me in the eye and quickly said, "Did you know that there is a battle for your soul going on right now?"  With those words I couldn't keep it in any longer and began crying.  Now, I could count on less than half a hand how many times I had cried since my parents divorced, but his words added clarity to what I was feeling and he was right.  I was at the end of my rope.  I had tried to do life my own way, but kept failing.  What I didn't realize was that "my" own way was actually satan's way, but the bible says in Jeremiah 29;11 that God has a plan for me.  A plan to prosper me and give me hope.  I had no hope at that point in my life and had lost everything that I had put my faith in.  I remember time after time telling myself, "The only person I have faith in is myself!"  I thought that this kept me free, but I was actually a slave.   A slave to sin.  I was full of lust and no stranger to pornography, mean to others, and selfish in every way.  I couldn't stop being that way even when I tried.  As tears began rolling down my cheeks Brother Doug sat me down on the pew with my dad and sister there next to me.  As he led me in prayer I repented of doing things my way, gave my will to God, and accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior.  After that, Brother Doug brought me into another room where all the vacation bible school kids and volunteers were eating.  He announced what I had just done and everyone applauded.  This was the beginning of the rest of my life.  I was born again, and I give Him thanks for every good and blessed thing that has happened to me since.

Before I go on with my story I have to ask you, the reader, if YOU have been born again.  Are you lost?  Without hope?  At the end of your rope like I was?  Romans 5:8 says "But God demonstrated His own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."  It is actually very easy for us to have new life.  So easy in fact that all you have to do is lay something down.  You must lay down your will.  He has paid the price and done the work for us.  All we have to do is give Him that which is rightfully His...ownership of our life.  In order to do this, God's word says in Romans 10:9 "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."  So if you are still reading and haven't let satan tear you away with distractions (I know he's trying) then simply say something like this to Jesus:

"Dear Jesus,
Please come into my heart and forgive me of all of my sins.  I give you my will, and am fully trusting you to be my personal Lord and Savior.  Thank you for saving me.  Amen"

Now only you and God know if you meant what you said, but if you prayed that prayer and meant it then thank God for saving you.  Romans 8:38-39 says " For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."  This is His promise to us.  Believe it and never forget it.

Now, back to my story.  Soon after meeting Jesus I wanted to learn more about this God I had just met.  So I started reading the bible.  I began by reading the New Testament simply because I wanted to learn who this Jesus was and didn't want to get bogged down by Old Testament genealogies and hard names to pronounce (since then I have read the rest of the bible).  It was an awesome time in my life!  Just me and Jesus and a few college classes with a part time job along the way.  Now you can't be a twenty year old male in college without noticing the pretty girls around you, but I didn't want to make the same mistakes I had made in previous relationships.  I wanted to marry, and I wanted it to be for life.  I never wanted to divorce like my parents did.  So, I told Jesus that He was enough for me and that I would never chase after another girl until He made it abundantly clear that she was the one I was to marry.  So six months later I met Rachael.  We worked together at the campus gym and recreation center, and she immediately got my attention.  I knew I liked this girl, but persisted moving forward until God made it clear to me.  This began a six month friendship then six months of dating followed by six month of engagement.  What can I say, I like even numbers.

Soon after Rachael and I married I began working as a personal trainer while Rachael finished school.  Two of my clients were chiropractors.  I had no idea what a chiropractor was, and so I asked them if I could come shadow them in their clinic.  This is when I fell in love with chiropractic!  I was adjusted for the first time and immediately felt old aches and pains from being a football player go away.  I loved how you could use your hands to heal and help a large number or people on a daily basis.  After some research and prayer, I felt God leading me to become a chiropractor.  I enrolled in Parker University and we moved my wife and first daughter down to Dallas, Texas.  Over three years and three kids later I was near graduation when my grandmother called me out of the blue.  She said that she met a chiropractor I was related to in Lewisville, Texas who I had never met.  His name was Dr. Bruce Amason, and he was my mother's second cousin with whom she had not seen since they were kids.  Small world I know!  After meeting him it became apparent that God was at work here.  He had been in practice for over 28 years and was looking to retire, and I was about to graduate.  So after working out the details for six months I bought his practice and made it my own.  This was over 5 years ago and God has blessed us every since.

So, here I am.  In my early thirties, healthy, happily married, three wonderful kids, and a growing and thriving business.  What more could a guy ask for?  Seems I am the epitome of a "well-adjusted"man.  Yet, there are times I am still not happy, prideful, selfish, stressed out, or simply flat-out fail.  How could this be if I serve a perfect God with plans to prosper me with hope and a future?  The answer is simple.  Paul says in 2 Corinthians 12:9 "But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong."

Being the well-adjusted man is not about being perfect in the world's eyes.  The well-adjusted man is someone who is not well with the world, but well with the creator of this world.  Therefore I will praise God as I boast about my weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecution, and difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.  And THIS is what I plan to write about.  Enjoy.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your bold and authentic sharing, Matt! I struggle daily with this concept of striving for the success of my small business while acknowledging my weakness and striving to focus on God's strength.