I preached in Danville, Virginia and met Hunter Dunn. He is a 19-year-old young man with severe Cerebral Palsy. He is unable to speak or use his hands or arms. He communicates by using his eyes to pick out letters of the alphabet in the air. “A” is about 5 feet and “Z” about 3 feet. You guess the letters until he nods so that you have the correct letter. He gave me a book he wrote, “The Claus Chronicles.”
I wrote a blog about Hunter in May 2010. Someone read that blog and recently shared with me a story about Hunter’s high school graduation. He finished high school with a 4.025 GPA and a class ranking of #3.
Hunter was selected as the speaker for his high school graduation. His best friends are great athletes. He was introduced by Kenny Lewis, who was picked in the 4th round draft by the Cincinnati Reds. The speech Hunter wrote was read by Jon Fulton. He was drafted in the 3rd round by the Florida Marlins. Here is a portion of his speech. It has great implications for all of us.
“Tonight, I want to talk to you about determination, motivation, and setting goals.”
“We all have giants to overcome in life. When I say giants, I do not mean those in fairy tales or the ones in the NFL. I do not even mean sports heroes like Tiger Woods or Derek Jeter! I’m talking about the ones we encounter each and every day. It might be a dreaded doctor’s appointment, a science project you put off until the night before, a big comprehensive test, or anything else that stresses you. To conquer these so called giants, you have to have determination, because without it, you cannot accomplish anything.”
“Since motivation comes from within oneself, one has to have that to be successful at achieving his goals too. I know the importance of having determination, motivation and working towards one’s goals.”
“I know about these giants in life. Giants do not have to be academics alone. They can be personal trials, emotional distresses, relationship tribulations, or in my case, the inability to speak, control my arms, or even do a simple task like brushing my teeth. Getting an education and attending school was a giant obstacle for me as well. Having peers and even my teachers see beyond my wheelchair and accept me was a daily challenge too. If I could overcome all of this with determination, motivation, and a spirit that doesn’t mind being bruised, then you can also. You cannot give up regardless of what you face. You cannot allow these giants to beat you. In fact, with faith, even the giant called death can be overcome by believing in Jesus Christ.”
“You have proven you have determination and motivation for you are here tonight. Each of you needs to feel proud of yourself, but you must continue to work towards your goals.”
“Now, I would like to ask you two questions. Will you defeat giants with determination or will you just let your giants crush you?”
Thanks for the challenge, Hunter! Read Numbers 13:25-33 (NLT). The 10 spies said that the new land was occupied with giants and the people of Israel were like grasshoppers. Caleb countered with a faith in a God bigger than the giants and said “Let’s go at once to take the land. We can certainly conquer it.” (v. 30)
Faith watches giants fall!