Wrestling with (or is it for?) God

April 6, 2011

Wrestlemania came to Atlanta last weekend. There was a time when I was a fan of professional wrestling, but frankly, it was a long time ago. That said, professional wrestling intersected my life right about a year ago, and has remained there just a bit.

Lex Lugar, the wrestler (retired and VERY different from what he was when competing) started coming to IRONMEN about a year ago, and I believe it is safe to say that he and I are friends. With Wrestlemania coming to town, Lex–who experienced a powerful conversion to Christ several years ago, talked about his desire to have a ministry in and to the wrestling community. He tried to create a “prayer breakfast” affiliated with the events downtown, but was blocked because of “legal conflicts” (which sounds like a smokescreen to me).  At any event, we ate Peachtree Presbyterian offered some space in our new building The Lodge, FCA convinced Chick Fil A to donate food (if you feed them, they will come!), and the next thing you knew, we had ourselves the first World Wrestling Outreach event. About 40 people from within the industry attended, no current athletes, but 7 retired athletes came. In the group picture, Lex is on the far right, about 90 pounds lighter than when he wrestled, thanks to a terrible accident he had several years ago.

One of his good friends, Nikita Koloff, who is now a licensed evangelist, is the guy looking like he is going to break me into little bits in the other picture. Interestingly, Nikitaa nd I had just been whispering, joking, and laughing, right before I was asked to say something, and this picture was taken. As menacing as he looks, he is a really nice guy, and a lot of fun.

AND–both he and Lex are incredibly passionate for Jesus. To think that these guys want more than anything, to honor God with their lives, and to help men and women in the wrestling community to experience the grace and the love of God, is downright staggering. This was just the beginning–as Lex said, “We’ll see you back next year, in Miami–South Beach!”

What I can’t wait for, is to see what has happened ten years from now, and to look back and realize that I had been at the first gathering.

Do me–and my friends–a favor, and ask God to bless their efforts, and to open doors for them to share the good news of Jesus to the industry that (as Lex said) “Satan has a choke hold on.”

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