Below is an excerpt from Coach Jimmy Valvano’s acceptance speech for the inaugural Arthur Ashe Courage and Humanitarian Award at the first-ever ESPY Awards.
This was given during his fight with cancer. His words are inspiring and allow us to see how we put this “WHEN GOD, are you going to hear me!?!?” into practice in real life circumstances.
(If you prefer to watch it rather than read it, here is the link.)
“Time is very precious to me. I don’t know how much I have left, and I have some things that I would like to say. Hopefully, at the end, I will have said something that will be important to other people, too.
But, I can’t help it. Now I’m fighting cancer, everybody knows that. People ask me all the time about how you go through your life and how’s your day, and nothing is changed for me. As Dick said, I’m a very emotional and passionate man. I can’t help it. That’s being the son of Rocco and Angelina Valvano. It comes with the territory. We hug, we kiss, we love.
When people say to me how do you get through life or each day, it’s the same thing.
To me, there are three things we all should do every day of our lives.
- Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day.
Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought.
- Number three is you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy.
But think about it. If you laugh, you think and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.
. . .
I just got one last thing; I urge all of you, ALL of you, to enjoy your life, the precious moments you have.
To spend each day with some laughter and some thought, to get your emotions going. To be enthusiastic every day, and as Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Nothing great could be accomplished without enthusiasm,” to keep your dreams alive in spite of problems whatever you have.
The ability to be able to work hard for your dreams to come true, to become a reality.
Now I look at where I am now, and I know what I want to do. What I would like to be able to do is spend whatever time I have left and to give, and maybe, some hope to others . . .
I will thank God for the day and the moment I have. If you see me, smile and give me a hug. That’s important to me too. But try if you can to support, whether it’s AIDS or the cancer foundation, so that someone else might survive, might prosper and might actually be cured of this dreaded disease.
I said it before, and I want to say it again. Cancer can take away all my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart and it cannot touch my soul. And those three things are going to carry on forever.
I thank you, and God bless you all.”
Romans 8:28The Message (MSG)
26-28 Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.