Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Are You An Ant? Or an AIN'T?

We just passed that six-week mark when any 2012 New Year's Resolution reached its goal, got reinforced, or just plain never made it out of the starting gate. The "making" or "announcing" of a resolution certainly has never been the roadblock in the gray matter between my ears. It's the "sticktoitiveness" that wanes heavily on my psyche.

However, this year I took a new approach. Instead, I determined that the "R" word when equating it to a yearlong, best-intention, would represent a Recommitment, a Refocus, a Renewal ~ to my overall health and happiness.

First focus: Since I'm taking this resolution thing in stages, I decided to start with my Health, which was fairly easy as our church pastor leaders kicked off 2012 with a series of messages using a popular brand of margarine, but changed the word at the end to reflect "I Can't Believe I'm Not BETTER!" They partnered with the local YMCA to bring trainers in for a six-week Boot Camp! Never in my life have I desired to be "pushed" into exercising, nor being accountable for such angst at 6 a.m. But for the six weeks, everyday that my scheduled allowed, I attended each session and made muscles hurt that I didn't even know I had. I deduced this as progress! Thus, a promise I made to myself to recommit to my health being fulfilled.
Second focus: During the series of messages, our teaching pastor centered his message around the MIND (Head). And how we needed to train ourselves to be an ANT killer -- (Automatic Negative Thought) killer! So, the next morning, I concentrated on the word "ANT". I said it over and over in my mind to the point it was engrained, "ANT, ANT, ANT......." I determined the message would make for a good blog post of my own. 
As I contemplated the words, my thoughts were interrupted by a phone call from the marketing director of MetraPark, our local multi-use complex in Billings, Mont., used for entertainment, trade shows, sporting events, etc. She wanted to know if I would be interested in taking one of the Harlem Globetrotters around Billings for his media visits to promote their ambassador program prior to their upcoming visit. Certainly a Globetrotter fan and interested, my only hesitation upon learning I would need to use my own vehicle was how I would ever get a 6'7 or taller player in my car. However, my concerns were put to ease when the marketing director explained,
"Oh Jody, he's one of the smaller players. His name is Ant!" 
ANT!! I couldn't believe how my positive thinking, or ANT (Automatic Negative Thought) killer, would have come into fruition so quickly and so literally.

My day taking Ant Atkinson to his media and school visits proved to be one of the "blessed" days of my life. He explained and showed me how during his collegiate basketball career at Barton College in North Carolina he led his team to its first and only national championship appearance in the 2007 NCAA Division II basketball tournament to beat the undefeated Winona State University. 
Ant, as a hometown hero, says the win was a culmination of his years of dedication to the sport, his God-given talent and prayers from his mother, father, who is a pastor; and his aunts and uncles, whom also serve in the ministry. Recorded as perhaps the greatest comeback in all of college basketball championship history, Ant scored 10 points in the last :39 seconds of the game to win the game!
You can read about Barton's triumphant win and Ant's journey to success in The Edge of Legend and watch that incredible ending of the game (in the YouTube video) , that helped lead to the beginning to Ant's career as a star player for the Harlem Globetrotters.
My time with Ant Atkinson may have only lasted a day, but the lesson in life he shared with me will last a lifetime:
  • There's no limit to God's ability to use ordinary people to do extraordinary things in His name.
  • There's no "I" in "TEAM"
  • You're either an ANT (Automatic Negative Thought) "killer" or you "AIN'T"!
  • And as each point in a basketball game counts, so do the number of days we're given to make great things happen!
 So, tell me! Are you an ANT? Or an AIN'T?

Stay tuned for Focus Three & Four and go make GREAT things happen!!

1 comment:

  1. Boot camp is tough! I actually did that for Fit and Trim on Kulr 8. (Yes, you would never know, but I did) Its tough and you find that you sweat in spots you didn't realize could sweat.

    I must admit, I'm quite the Negative Nelly. I like your Pastor's thoughts on ANTS.