20-year-old Isaiah Austin’s dream was to play pro basketball. He is the 7-foot, 1-inch center for Baylor University. Isaiah had been working out with NBA teams, hoping to get picked in the draft. But, as is common, the NBA had a doctor check him out. His EKG led to a diagnosis of Marfan Syndrome, a condition that damages connective tissues in the body. The doctor told his mom, “This young man is lucky to be alive, because one sharp elbow to the chest could be fatal.”
Isaiah had previously lost his right eye in an accident in eighth grade, yet it had not hindered him from becoming one of the best high school players in the country. His coach, who was a Christian, said, “I never allowed him to make it an excuse, but make it a testimony.
His family drove to Texas to tell Isaiah the bad news. His mom said, “He sat on the stairs and we prayed around him. His brother and sister hugged him and they were crying. He hugged them and said, ‘It’s going to be okay.’”
Isaiah shared, “You can’t be sorry for yourself and have a pity party. Not going to get anywhere with that. Got to keep a positive mind. Know with God at your back, you can do anything. When God closes a door, he opens another. I feel like he’s opening another. It’s just another part of my life. I have to work through. I’m going to be the happy person I am and not let anything get in my way.”
The NBA is bringing Isaiah and his family to New York to honor him.
Imagine at the age of 20, when you expect to play the sport you love for thousands of people and make the big money, then in a few sentences, it’s gone forever. But if we live long enough, we will experience the pain of watching a dream die.
Isaiah’s focus was not on the disappointing news, but on God. His spirit didn’t reflect a dying dream, but a new hope. Essentially he said if basketball isn’t for me, then something great must be on the way. He knew he was trading one dream for a new one, yet to be unveiled.
Today, whether your dream died 30 years ago or last month, let’s all take encouragement from this young man’s story and attitude. God is the Giver of dreams and His supply is endless.
Now your attitudes and thoughts must all be constantly changing for the better. Yes, you must be a new and different person, holy and good. Clothe yourself with this new nature. —Ephesians 4:23-24 TLB