So I don’t know who your childhood heroes were when you were growing up, but as far as mine go, a lot of them were all grown men, who wore tights, sweat a lot, and flung metal chairs at each other. That’s right. My childhood heroes were professional wrestlers. Now I enjoyed GI Joes, Rambo, and Ninja Turtles as well, but for a few years I was solely committed to wrestling.
My favorite by far was Ultimate Warrior, but one of the kind of unsung wrestlers that I admired was Jake the Snake Roberts. He had snake skin boots and carried a big boa constrictor around with him in a bag, was over 6 1/2 feet tall and had a cool demeanor. In my mind he seemed like he was very loyal; the type of guy who you would want to be your friend for a long time. You know the one who would pick you up on the side of the highway at 3 in the morning. I don’t know if that is a true assessment of not, but it is what he seemed like to me.
Well, the other day I went on YouTube and found a documentary that was done on him and watched the whole thing. I was amazed at the journey that his career took him on. He went through all kinds of ups and downs. He had some success, and then had some set back. He had some great deals and offers, and then they were withdrawn from him. He had every reason to be happy and upset at the same time.
Eventually in his career, after a few years of being in the WWF he became addicted to painkillers, which led to a drug addiction that lasted a few years. Couple that with years of drinking and dealing with alcoholism and you have a recipe for a very tough life without too many bright spots to comfort yourself with. It was at this point in the documentary that Jake said in a grizzly and gruff voice that life consisted of “work, pills, alcohol, sleep. Next day – same thing.”
When I heard him say that it just left me feeling sadness and a certain level of pity for this guy who I didn’t even know in real life. This guy who wore a hat with the name “Jake the Snake” on it in which he performed his amazing DDT was now declaring how pointless and useless he viewed his life as back then. Just made me sad.
But the documentary didn’t end there. Although he severed relationships, lost money, got divorced, and has many regrets he is now clean and living a life with a smile on his face again in small town Texas. It made me really think about a few things in my life.
Why can’t I lick and get rid of some of the struggles in my life? I mean, come on Jay, you have the power of the Holy Spirit living and active in you! Why aren’t you having the same results as Jake had? At one point Jake claimed that he was born again, but didn’t seem to say that this change was what helped him get better finally. I don’t want to make a judgment call on his conversion or anything, but it seemed like he overcame a lot of what he did by sheer will power and grit!
It is an exciting thing to see what the human spirit can do and overcome. But it is also sobering to see someone cut more junk out of their life with their own will power than I choose to with the help of God.
I now have something to work on. How about you? What are you thoughts?