Saturday, March 29, 2008

KGB at the Varsity Theater, Part 3

Part 3: On Spiritual Things

KGB's confrontation with Gill Byrd ended with a summons to Byrd's office the next day at 9 a.m. Gbaja-Biamila was afraid he had blown it and would be cut. Instead, at the chosen hour, a white man - the pastor of a local church - was in Byrd's office. Kabeer waited outside, but Byrd said, "Come in." Byrd - who was a Nation of Islam member before his conversion - invited KGB to share his Islamic-derived criticisms of Christianity with the pastor. Kabeer found, to his surprise, that either Byrd or the pastor were able to answer his questions as no one had before.

His actions began to match his growing faith. Later that day, KGB cut off a friends-with-benefits relationship with a local woman. On September 26, 2000, Gbaja-Biamila was baptized.

Gbaja-Biamila was forthright in his testimony. He said, "Jesus is my Lord because he is my master, and he is my Savior because he rescued me from hell." He exhorted his audience: "I go fishing quite a bit. When you go fishing, do you gut and clean the fish before you catch it, or after it?" After we replied, he said, "You don't have to be clean before you come to Jesus Christ - in fact, you'll be unclean. If you let Jesus catch you, he'll clean you - you don't have to worry over it. Just let Him transform you."

He warned the young men in the audience, "I trust that most of you hope to be married one day, so I'll let you know: the standards you set now will persist into your marriage and color it." He shared an example from his own marriage: just after he married his wife, his sex drive waned and he found it difficult to make love to her. He puzzled over this for a while. One day, walking in the local mall, he found his eyes drawn to a girl across the aisle. He stopped and realized that he was so used to seeking the "forbidden", joining the "thrill of the chase", that married life seemed boring. That evening, he prayed with his wife for God to renew their love, and the problem went away.

I went mostly to hear a pro athlete speak and came away pleased at KGB's candor and obvious growth as a Christian. Hearing his talk was an unexpected bonus in my week.

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