12 Apr

I should first say the title of today’s piece has nothing to do with basketball. It rather has to do with life.

While sitting at my computer this morning looking out on a sunny day I noticed the sun’s rays streamed into the window and reflected off a bookshelf. A small hardback book caught my eye. REBOUND by Tomas Sumsky. I do not know how we acquired the book, but it is attractive for many reasons. The hardback cover is a rich coffee brown and the book is bound in a a 7×7 square and the span of the book is only 95 pages. What really caught my eye was the actual book title and subtitle combined: REBOUND Liberation From Crisis. I am assuming the book was self published as there is no copyright data on the early pages, no ISBN and no publishing house given credit. An intriguing book, none-the-less.

The book highlights images of a young man who was born, raised and educated in a small town in the Czech Republic with a drive to “enrich his character” with hard work, careful studies. His goal was to end up in the United States of America. He landed in New York City in 1997 with $500 in his pocket. In America he wanted to follow his dream to become successful. He found work in the construction industry learning as he went about American business, people and financial strategy. He was able by the early 2000s to own properties, build and rebuild houses, flip homes earning amazing profits and by 2005 he described himself as happy and successful and on a path to early retirement by age 35. He and his wife lived well, traveled well and looked like they had it all until the recession of 2008 when housing became devalued and many housing related businesses were toppled.

The bigger part of Sumsky’s story is that a few years before the bottom fell out of his financial life bucket, he went through a period of aimless emptiness. Was there more to life beyond new cars, amazing travel, jet-set pals and money, money and more money? Of course when the industry that had made him wealthy began to collapse, he had little else to hang on to and his mood and spirit began to fail, too. To make sense of it all and to survive the aftermath of years of carefree living he sold properties at a loss and sold high priced cars, boats and other toys to make ends meet. He. Learned. To. Live. With. Less. He also developed different strategies to implement with a fresher outlook on life. The final chapter of his book opens with this quote: “The beauty of our choices is that they are ours.” At the end of the book he states, “Please recycle…give this book to someone you love.” Sumsky found freedom after his crisis by liberating new ideas, ideals and attitudes that he did not even realize he had. He embraced less and gained more.

Is this Adam and Eve’s story?

Is this Job’s story?

Is this Mary Magdalene’s story?

Is this a butterfly ‘s story?

Is this our story as we slowly emerge from the Covid cocoon?

What does our future look like with Covid as part of our present and our past? Have we changed? If so, perhaps it is indeed for the better.

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 1 Peter 5:10

While I can’t say that Tomas Zumsky called on the name of the Lord in his period of despair, I hope you will.

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