Posts Tagged ‘chris rush’

Recently, I hopped abroad a airplane for a weekend trip to ‘The  Mitten” (aka Michigan).  While I did get to spend time with friends and family – not to mention the best plane conversation ever – none of those reasons are why I actually went.  I flew to Michigan because an aspiring film maker named Zack Arnold – who is also the editor for the show Burn Notice on USA Network – asked me to attend a special screening of”GO FAR” the documentary about his close friend, the late Chris Rush.  I’ve shared Chris’s story before and the progress that has been made in this effort to showcase the life of one man to encourage and inspire many.  So, on a sunny Sunday afternoon, I hopped in the car with my brother Seth and we drove to the Michigan Theater on the campus of University of Michigan (where Zack and Chris attended undergrad together).

I’d never been in a movie theater before that I would describe as upscale or “swanky” but this fit the bill, even my brother commented on how nice the place was.  Finally getting to connect face-to-face with Zack after a year and a half of following his progress on this project and meet Chris’s father and talk with him about how I was drawn to Chris’s story by its power and potential for impact and that when there is a good story to be told I’m compelled to assist if I can.  Not too long after pizza, soda, and some cookies my brother was rather fond of, we entered the screening room and took our seats.  Zack took a few moments to tell us all why we were there, why he felt compelled to tell the story of this life but we all knew: this was his close friend, dear enough to name his son after him, who lived the life of a hero, one for whom the impossible became possible…because he was awesome.  Someone who inspired those around him to be better, just by being himself.

The film spans pretty much all of Chris’s life; from his younger days as a poster child with the Muscular Dystrophy Association, his high-school experience of becoming the first quadriplegic ever to be licensed for scuba-diving, his college days at the University of Michigan, and his days at the law school at Wayne State, using Chris’s own matrix of Goals, Obstacles, Focus, Achieve, and Review (GO-FAR) to segment the story as well as showcase his love for Star Wars.   An amazing and emotional tale of real life that doesn’t shy away from success and hardship, difficulty and joy; a story that features such individuals as Tony Orlando and Jerry Lewis.  As my brother commented later: “seeing something like that, you can’t help but feel as if you have no excuse to not do something with your life”; I couldn’t agree more.

For Seth and I, it was a little odd being the only individuals invited to be part of this screening who didn’t know Chris personally, but I’m representative of the target audience as Zack later explained.  A story like this, while for all, is meant to give hope to those with disabilities and medical challenges.  As Zack said, “you understand Chris’s struggle” and he’s quite right about that.  In the end it was a great way to spend an afternoon with my brother and a privilege to be part of the next step in telling this true tale.  I have no doubt that big things are ahead for this project as the waves and ripples of Chris’s life continue to touch many others, fitting as his last wish was to be buried at sea in the Cayman Islands where he first learned to walk; not on grass, carpet, or concrete, but on the sands of the ocean floor.

You went far Chris, father than most of us ever will…and the “Saga of Rush” is far from over.

Author’s Note:  Penned almost 4 years ago, I still think about this event a lot, considering the controversy that ignited over the events in Florida the lady was referring to, and have really been considering it in the last week.  The Greater Miracle is often the harder road, the road bearing footprints you can see because it’s not paved, but few prints to follow.  When I wrote this the FENX IV wasn’t finished, Carl Sear at NBC hadn’t called yet, I didn’t know pro-life television existed, and I certainly didn’t know who Chris Rush or Zack Arnold were, and wasn’t thinking about articles written in Roll Call.  Almost four years later, some of this path makes more sense than it did in Spring 2008.  How big is God to you?  Is He big enough to NOT do something you want because there is a larger story being written, even in your own life?

Yesterday, before church, an older lady came up to me and asked me a random question: “Do you watch GOD TV?”  Taken aback, I said “no” because I don’t know what that is. (Only after thinking about it did I realize that I think it’s part of the Wendy Alec empire as it were.)  She then started talking about how guests on that TV program/station had been healed of various physical problems and illnesses during a “healing revival” and how I should start watching it.

So, ok, color me a skeptic.  I know that God CAN do such things, and that the Scriptures are filled with Him doing such things in the Old Testament and Jesus in the new (even using the Disciples and Paul).  God is God and the Universe belongs to Him and He can do as He wills. The whole reason this awkward conversation started is because she saw me sitting in the scooter and the synaptic impulse shot across her brain that “something is wrong with this young man and I know God can fix it”.  A noble idea and response to be sure, but is it the right one?

Has anyone ever considered that there is nothing wrong with me? Has anyone ever thought about the fact that I am what I am because the Lord created me to be this way for some purpose unknown to humans but fully known to Him – even though it is revealed to me and to others in small pieces or not at all? I just feel sad for people who see something like this and automatically think something is out of place, when in fact it is not. Sure, I still struggle with this whole situation, the idea of getting older and things getting worse. At times it isn’t fun – like right now when I am home suck because a variety of factors are working together to keep me out of the game for a short time – but it is never as bad as the outside world perceives it to be because my Heavenly Father is here too, grieving and struggling along side, but knowing there is a greater purpose that often I cannot see. (Lest we forget Paul’s example shown to us by the thorn that he was given, but never taken from him though he asked it to be)

What is the greater miracle?

For someone to be healed of a life-long infirmity, the Lord be recognized and praised for it, but soon forgotten by all except the one it happened to – and even then possibly forgotten over time?

Or for someone to go about life striving to accomplish the mission set before them, phase by phase, with a consistent infirmity, a constant reminder of their mortality, that can cause great pain and internal struggle (but also bring them in closer relationship with God than anything else) against impossible odds because the Father planted within that person the seed of perseverance that over time will grow and transform into a massive structure with God engraved all over it, as a symbol and encouragement to many people in many places?

I’ll take door number two, Bob.

Riding Towards Eternity,

Aaron