Thursday, May 27, 2004
Part II for Julia (the asian version)

Michael Chang - tennis success: They said I was too small, that I didn't have the strength, that I wouldn't cut it. I'll admit it's been tough - really tough. Sometimes I still feel I just don't have the height or strength to go out and compete against the bigger guys.

But I found it takes a lot more than physical size or strength to make it in life - both on and off the court. That's where I found having a relationship with God makes all the difference.

At 15 years of age, I was doing a lot of searching. I think at this particular age, kids are wondering about the meaning of life and are really trying to find themselves. I definitely had a lot of questions.

I became a Christian in 1988. My grandparents had given me a Bible that they asked me to read every day. On one particular evening when I didn't have anything else to do, I decided to take a good look at it and see what it had to say. I found the Bible to be true and pure, expressing incredible love and peace through the life of Jesus Christ. Through my reading, I eventually accepted Jesus as my Lord and Saviour.

When I won the 1989 French Open-my first Grand Slam title-I was only 17. This came much earlier than my family and I ever dreamed. I never expected it, and I don't think anyone else in the tennis world expected it either. But the Lord has His way of working things out.

It might have been easy to let my head swell, getting caught up in the money, fame and glamour of winning. I am thankful that I was able to stay focused on Jesus and not fall into this. I believe that I have been put in this position in order to touch people's lives in a positive way. Nothing is as important to me as this.

I also consider it fortunate that I became a Christian the first year that I was on the Tour. Before all the fame and money, the Lord was there teaching me His way. It is wonderful to be able to look back at my life before I was a Christian and see how even then the Lord was looking out for me.

I know God is the one who gave me the ability to play tennis. I would not be where I am without Him giving me the strength to play the way I do. When I keep this perspective, I'm able to go out and compete with the mindset that winning and losing is up to God. What's important is giving it my best. I may win or I may lose, but when I keep my focus on Him, I always have the joy He alone can give.

I have confidence knowing that everything is in His hands. I see so many things happening in my life that I know are not just mere coincidence. I know that the Lord loves me, that He will always be with me looking out for me - no matter what happens.

- posted by -g @ 5:25 PM | | 0 rocks in pond


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