Friday, December 16, 2011

Too Soon

I experienced one of the coolest athletic feats at a CIY Move conference several years ago. We had a team in the annual dodgeball tournament and were actually playing pretty well. We had moved through the first few rounds and were playing against the worship band. Five of the six members of our team got knocked out very quickly and it looked like our run was over. What happened next was incredible to watch and is a story that I have shared with many people since.

Our one remaining team member was a young man named Trent Turner. Trent was a natural athlete with an incredible arm. He realized how the odds were stacked against him and seemed to take his intensity up a notch (as if it could be any higher for him.) He started methodically mowing down the opposite team by catching everything they threw at him and then knocking them off one at a time. He was throwing so hard that the ball bounced off of their chests as they tried to catch it. When he knocked out a few of them and we realized that he had a shot at pulling this off our cheers grew louder. The crowd surrounding the court started to grow as people came running over to witness this great comeback. When Trent knocked out the last opposing team member we rushed the court with shouts of victory and picked him up to carry him around. It was like we had won the World Series or the Super Bowl.

Trent passed away this week in a car accident-another life taken from us far too soon and my heart is heavy for my own grief and for that of his family & friends. I think back to that day of dodgeball and see how it encapsulates my thoughts of Trent. He lived life with passion and intensity. He drew people to him-we all loved him and his infectious personality and laughter. He would fight for those he loved and for those who couldn't fight for themselves. When he was fired up about a project or goal there was no stopping him from getting it done. All of us wanted to see him succeed and to cheer him on when he did. He lived life at full throttle and I treasure the times of laughter, tears, sweat, worship, and service that we shared together.

You will be missed my friend. I am grateful for the gift that you were to the lives around you.

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