Let your roots grow down into him and
draw up nourishment from him,
so you will grow in faith,
strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught.
Let your lives overflow with thanksgiving for all he has done.
(New Living Translation)
I really didn’t know much about Laila Ali until yesterday. Yes, she is a stellar boxer and former contender on Dancing With the Stars; but admittedly my knowledge base was minuscule! Yes, I understood that she was the daughter of the great American boxer
and former three-time World Heavyweight Champion
, Muhammad Ali and daughter of Veronica Porsche Ali. But that’s as far as it went. I certainly wouldn’t have won any trivia questions contest had someone quizzed me further about her being an entrepreneur, world champion boxer, inspirational author, impassioned lecturer, devoted mother, sports enthusiast and philanthropists. Yes, I would have drawn a blank. And by the way it appears that she doesn’t mix words. The way it comes out is the way that it is- I learned that also. There are no excuses and no apologies about her passionate beliefs. God would have it that I’d have the opportunity to view Daddy’s Girl
and thus be introduced to an outsatnding citizen! http://www.tvoneonline.com/shows/show.asp?sid=741&id=1623
God had something great in store for me in being able to view Daddy’s Girl several afternoon’s ago. As a result of my being home with a bad flu, I found myself doing something I seldom do and that’s watch television for more an a couple of hours during one given time. TV One aired: Daddy’s Girl. When the commercials showed Soweto, South Africa and Laila speaking to some enthusiastic young fans I was hooked. I was delighted that I had not channel surfed and missed this program opportunity. Daddy’s Girl did a formidable job taking the viewer on a journey of Ms. Ali’s interest with young people and her boxing career leading up to the Johannesburg triumph over Gwendolyn O’Neil.
The documentary peaked my curiosity when Laila stood standing confidently, not arrogantly but visibly assured that she had a word to share, with this particular audience of young woman. She too had sat where these “detainees” now sat- in this particular California juvenile detention center. Laila jokingly informed them that they could not beat her and knew somebody wanted to try. She began to share her story regarding her rebellious youthful years and the consequences of several of those mistaken choices. But obviously the story didn’t end there. What many of them were now encountering being locked up and determined to do things their way was a choice she asked them to reconsider. But God had a plan for them whether they understood it or not! His voice and instructions would be delivered through the no hold bars conversation that Laila would conduct with them. Her testimony would be further revealed in each of the books presented to them entitled: Reach! Finding Strength, Spirit, and Personal Power by Laila Ali.
I was surprised to learn that as a young woman she decided to make some choices that landed her in a juvenile correctional facility. But i dare say that that probably was an important part of her journey on the divine path needed in turning Laila’s life in a more positive direction. Everybody has their story!
What was in her?
What was the essence which led to her becoming a woman with vision, gumption and conviction?
Well, she is her daddy’s child? I believe that the Holy Ghost wants us to reconsider what the anatomy of a champion really is? Wouldn’t you agree that we have a spiritual and physical DNA?
We are God’s very own.
Understand, therefore, that the LORD your God is indeed God.
He is the faith
ful God who keeps his covenant
for a thousand generations and
constantly loves those who love him and obey his commands.
Laila dazzled the boxing world, but that’s not the sum total of who she is and what she represents. She’s conveyed to not only young women, but the world that it’s ok to have beauty, brains and be athletic also. She’s created academic scholarships and sports foundations for young athletes. Visit her website to learn more about her endeavors.: http://www.lailaali.com/index.cfm/pk/content/pid/400397
She’s an amazing human being that loves a challenge and is unafraid to speak her mind, indeed her stamina transcends the boxing arena – her heart can handle adversity. Her character trait of guts, courage, and nerve -mirrors closely Muhammad Ali’s. There’s a genuine veneer that can’t be hidden. Coinsidence that she is a champion’s daughter? No sir! She has masterfully broken down barriers in the the boxing arena which have resulted in her being a champion in life. laila is an example of how God gives us the strength and the abilities to think and act on our belief-to overcome and be victorious.
Thank you Laila for being a shining example of what a champion looks like in and out of the ring! She not only followed in her father’s footsteps as being a world fighting champion, but carved out an inspirational direction for others. It was said in the documentary by her Cut Doctor, “That when we see you, we see your Dad.”
I believe that God is speaking to us and asking us to ponder these questions as we represent the best of our Heavenly Father :
When others see us, will they know what we are made of? They may see our natural parents imperfections, but is there evidence of our spiritual DNA?
Can the world see indicators of God’s truth, wisdom and knowledge evidenced in our lives?
Can they see that we too are fighters, and contenders of our faith?
Is it evident that we are trailblazers, setting a standard for righteousness, holiness?
Are we vanguards, forerunners for the meek and ordinary in this world? What causes are we champions of?
I am extremely appreciative of how God allowed me time to witness Daddy’s Girl. Ms. Ali’s talents, her appeal to young persons, and her charisma has propeled her to the forefront. I think it’s clear that Laila wears the beauty of holiness well, and won’t ever cower in a corner. God has given her the desires of her heart and I am delighted to know that what has been divinely placed in her; has also been placed in you and me. Thank you Holy Spirit for relaying that in each of us is a spirit with the anatomy of a champion. God bless you Laila!
Linda Mose Meadows, Author
The Blessedness of Believing
A Devotional Journey of Life’s Lessons and God’s Promises