The Amazing Race! A Testament to God’s Amazing Grace: Shannon’s Story

This evening marked an eventful moment on this amazing quest I have been privileged to journey on by Almighty God! My daily experiences have been so remarkable that I have no choice other than to call this “The Amazing Race”.

I have been privileged to meet so many phenomenal people on my journey with God and this story is dedicated to one who touched my heart in such a profound way that I am certain my life has been impacted forever.

This story is about my new friend Shannon who is a seminarian at the Candler School of Theology. Shannon is known by his infectious smile, and seemingly ever-permanent positive demeanor. Shannon is one of those remarkable individuals whose personality shines so brightly that it lights up an entire room the moment his feet hit the floor.

Well, I had the privilege of walking on a brisk cold evening with Shannon along with another friend, Ruth. Engaged in conversation, Shannon explained that he was parked at the hospital and we would need to walk a little ways to get to his car. Thankful that Shannon was willing to drive Ruth and I to our car which was too far away for a comfortable walk, Ruth and I had no complaints here.
I did ask if parking was more reasonable at the hospital versus the other lot. Shannon replied, “no I don’t think so, but it works out that I have to come over here in between classes for chemo and God worked it out as such that I get validated parking here.” Ruth and Shannon chuckle. I force myself to mimic their chuckles as well while I am looking at Shannon, a middle-aged white male, tall in stature with a graying full head of hair as exuberant as ever. My first assumption is that perhaps he means that he ministers to those undergoing chemotherapy, but Shannon never says this. I, then, wait some more for him to say, “Just kidding” and he never does. Whew..Shannon’s offering has completely floored Ruth and me as we are instantaneously reminded of how small our problems are and that we don’t have a thing to complain about. Shannon even shared that his hair recently grew back.

The remainder of our walk and car ride is centered on meaningful conversation and intimate sharing. I can vividly recall Shannon’s take on parenting and how fast children grow up and how “a good portion of life is just bull-shit distractions; there are very rare moments of meaningfulness because we are taught by society to focus on things that do not matter.” Did I mention that Shannon commutes from Athens to attend the Candler School of Theology (one hour and 45 minutes drive) and for his treatments?
Once we truly comprehend the fullness of God and understand better how to focus on things above, we will then realize what things are completely invaluable in our day-to-days and how it is important to pursue these moments alone.

To God Be the Glory for the things He has done!

I pray that you will be inspired…I know I have.

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