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Response to Blog
Give your Respose
Live Your Life on a Different Level
July 30, 2015
by Kevin Pride
Editor’s Note: Will Green, veteran Cohutta Springs Youth Camp staff member and wakeboard professional, died June 23, 2015, from a wakeboard accident that took place off–site at Carters Lake during wakeboard camp. This story is about the impact his life made for God. If you want to learn more about Will Green, check out: http://www.gccsda.com/news/322.
On Saturday, June 27, 2015, I again realized how influential a life lived through Christ can be. On that lazy Sabbath afternoon, I was touched as I watched the livestream of Will Green’s funeral. I was touched as I heard, over and over, how much of a positive influence Will had on others. I learned Will’s life apparently was a reflection of where he spent a lot of his time: reading his Bible. “And this isn’t one of those situations when you realize all of this once somebody has passed. We all saw this in Will the moment we met him. It has always been very clear,” said Dixie Smith, a University of Florida wakeboard teammate of Will’s.
Will, a member of the University of Florida wakeboarding team before his untimely death, played a vital role in UF winning the 15th Collegiate Wakeboard National Championships, as he showed great talent. Not just an ordinary rider, WakeWorld had Green rated #3 on their Collegiate Wakeboarding Top 10 for 2014/2015 (released on 4/13/15). Spencer Sinclair, 2014–2015 president of the wakeboarding team, had just actually met Will at the start of this season. He said, “I just knew Will was this legendary rider who didn’t actually go to UF.” Will lived in Orlando and attended UF through online classes.
Smith and the former president of the wakeboarding team recruited Will to UF. “He made it clear that he wouldn’t ride any contests on Saturdays, but we were so impressed with his riding and persona that we started switching up all the contest riding orders so he could compete!” Smith said.
Will’s personality was as legendary as his riding. When asked if he was “preachy” about his religion, Heather Bouchard, another teammate, replied, “No. Never really heard him speak about his religion.” She continued, “He was just always so nice. You would complement him, and he would just smile like he never heard the compliment before. . . . He just really cared about anything you were saying. Anything you were asking. He would just take the time to get to know people.”
Smith added, “He also was the most humble yet one of the best wakeboarders in college, so everyone really admired him. Will always hung out with everyone and made no judgements, never forcing his beliefs, which was pretty cool. His presence was very strong but also super gentle . . . [a] very interesting character from the start. He had something in him that I had never seen before, and it was that light in his eyes . . . true happiness.”
Will’s teammates were asked to reflect on what they could take away from Green’s young life. Bouchard’s response was, “I know a lot of people at our school didn’t know him personally, but after hearing about him are so touched by him. It just amazes me how many people you can touch without personally knowing.”
Smith added, “The biggest thing I take from it is to be a little bit more like him.”
Sinclair, in reflection said, “Aww, man. What don’t you take away from a guy like that? I mean he really gives you a new perspective on how to approach everyday life. He woke up and he would already be smiling, and he would already be ready for the day and be ready to go out and take on everything that was in front of him. He really displayed a motivation that probably no one had ever seen, and it certainly was inspirational. It makes me, makes everyone around him, do as much as they can; live your life on a different level.”
When we spend time with Christ, He will be reflected and not ourselves. God’s character will shine through us to others. Galatians 2:20 says, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (KJV). It is when Christ is reflected through us that our lives will be lived on another level.
I hope this article can be an inspiration to everyone. As Christians, we are reminded that Christ’s character can be reflected through us when we live by faith. As athletes, I hope this article inspires us to remember, worship, and praise the God who gave us the athletic ability. As Seventh-day Adventist athletes who may be struggling with athletics and the Sabbath, I hope this article encourages you to stay faithful in your beliefs. “Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass” (Psalm 37:4, 5. KJV).
Kevin Pride is assistant dean of men at Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, Tennessee, and a local boys’ basketball coach. The full story was originally published on the Adventist Athletes blog on July 10, 2015. Accessed on July 20, 2015, from http://www.adventistathletes.com/2015/07/10/live–your–life–on–a–different–level–what–i–learned–from–will–greens–wakeboarding–teammates/. Reprinted by permission.
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