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Lights in Dark Places

Where do you find Mountain Takers, people of influence for the Kingdom of God? Everywhere! We expect to find them in the usual places on all 7 Mountains of culture (Business, Education, Government, Family, Arts and Entertainment, Media, and Religion) But what we may not be prepared for are Mountain Takers in unusual places, “Lights in Dark Places”. Today I want to introduce you to one of them.

The idea of famous athletes being bold about their faith is not new, or strange. One of the longest lasting examples of the last year has been the presses’ pre-occupation with the phenomenon dubbed, “Tebowing”; taken from quarterback Tim Tebow’s practice of kneeling down on the side of the field to thank the Lord at the end of a play. Numerous receivers point to the sky when they make a touchdown and of course many, like Tim Tebow, are sincere believers and are people of influence on and off the field. This week however I came across a Mountain Taker in a place known for many things, faith not normally being one of them - the boxing ring!

Sports Illustrated ran a story about Andre Ward, the 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist, and now professional super middleweight fighter with an unblemished 25-0 record. (Now 26-0 after defeating Chad Dawson in a TKO last weekend). Andre is being looked at as the probable successor to Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquaio, but the reason for the story was not that. The story was written because Andre does not fit the image of either current champ, or champion fighters in general. As the article covered in some detail, Andre is different because Andre is a committed Christian.

A significant portion of the article is devoted to listing things Andre will and won’t and do because of his faith. There is also testimony from his wife and former trainers as to the veracity of the reporter’s account of Andre’s character.

In fact, many in the boxing community are not sure what to do with Andre. He does not fit the stereotypical model of a boxer. “He’s not crass. He doesn’t curse. He won’t take pictures with ring card girls or anyone holding a beer.” “Ward cares about how he carries himself. He has plans for the future… ‘I want to create a legacy’, says Ward…’I would rather be respected than known as an entertainer no one respects.’” [SI September 10, 2012 p.36]

Whoo Hoo! I’m not a boxing enthusiast, but here is a fellow Mountain Taker on a very public and tough peak to climb, and the Lord’s Light is shining out of him.

I hope Andre’s story encourages you to keep on keeping on your mountain as it does me on mine. Wherever the Lord has you serving, you are just like Andre Ward, a light in a dark place. Let His Light Shine!

Have a great week on your Mountain fellow Mountain Taker.

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