Muhammad Ali passed away this week. And while the country mourns the passing of an icon, I wanted to reflect on some of the things he said throughout his lifetime that I find quite inspirational as a mom. I’m a bit of a boxing fan myself.
Rocky has always been my favorite movie franchise and Stallone repeatedly shared how Ali was his inspiration to him as he created the movies. This clip of Stallone and Ali during the academy award ceremony where Stallone is awarded for his first film in the series and what would become an American staple in our culture!
“Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn’t matter which color does the hating. It’s just plain wrong.”
Ali was right. Hating people for anything is wrong. Color. Background. Profession. Religion. Lifestyle choice. Hating is wrong, even if the other side hates us. How else will they ever find out about the love of Jesus if we hate? In our house, I try to teach the children that using the word hate against a person is not acceptable. You can hate brussel sprouts all you want.
“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life like a champion.'”
Parenting can be dang hard. I mean downright gritty. Nothing in life has ever made me realize how completely imperfect, how seriously inept, and how very inadequate I am for a job than parenting. Moments of overwhelming fear to overwhelming joy can be but seconds apart. But it is training. God is teaching and leading and guiding David and I on this paramount purpose to our lives…training up another generation to love and serve Christ with their whole hearts. The training can be draining…and when I am tempted to quit, give up, or even just cry in front of the kiddos, I think of this quote from Ali…Don’t quit… Suffer now and live the rest of your life like a champion.
“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential…”
It’s impossible to raise kids these days. Impossible for them to grow up and truly love and serve God. Impossible to teach them right from wrong. A thousand other impossibilities I’ve been tossed over the last 21 years and I love to see how God defies every single one of them. Impossible is a dare. Impossible is potential…after all, the word itself says, “I’m possible!”
“If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it, then I can achieve it…”
I’ve heard small whispers in my head, to my heart, from the Lord about what He wants me to do. I’ve seen first-hand so many times where a simple idea that seems so far fetched is made into reality because of His goodness and some down-right miraculous ways that God shows up. But the truth is, if you can believe it, you can achieve it…and Ali was living proof of that if nothing else.
“It’s the repetition of affirmations that lead to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.”
The Bible says that faith comes by hearing. What we hear ourselves say over and over, is what will become a deeply held conviction. Once that conviction becomes deep enough, it’s natural outcome is action. And that action, paired with faith and favor from a loving God is an unstoppable force. As a parent, I don’t believe in sunshine-blowing false platitudes at our children, but I do firmly believe in repeating affirmations, continually calling out strengths in them, repeatedly encouraging them…and attaching those strengths to a purpose and bathing them in prayer. And then, things will begin to happen.
“Champions aren’t made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them– a desire, a dream, a vision…”
The Bible clearly tells us that for a lack of vision, people perish. They languish. They fade away or wander into trouble. In parenting, one of our most important jobs is to help our children decipher their vision, their purpose from God. The path to their purpose may be along and winding road, but on it there is so much reward! I pray that today you are encouraged to fight on in your parenting, fight hard for the things that matter — our faith and families.
Rocky has always been my favorite…