Wednesday, March 21, 2012
I first met Mike Edwards during training week for Full Metal Jousting and I, like many of my fellow teammates, had the initial reaction of “what about ‘this guy’?”! However, as training week continued, my opinion of him began to change. I began to see a bit beyond the Mohawk and the tight pants to the man underneath. He was a man who, like most of us, was trying to make his way through this world. Then during the first episode Mike suffered his first defeat and quite frankly didn’t take it too well. Probably due to some of the things in his past, that first loss set like curdled milk on Mike’s stomach. Consequently, Mike spent the next week belly aching and “vomiting” on those around him. Couple this with the fact that a deserving man like Jack didn’t get picked to fill Brian’s spot and you can see why the black team was not exactly excited to have Mike on our side. (Side note: the black team did cheer for Mike even if the show made it seem as though we did not.) Upon finding out Mike would be on our team we immediately began to get him suited up for his joust with Nathan. It seemed like trading for
right before a playoff game against the Lakers - this was the face of the Red team. This was a guy with a personality you could either like or hate but one you certainly couldn’t be indifferent about. By this time in the competition, the black team members had really begun to embrace living like brothers, and we felt that the coaches and producers had just stuck a fly in our ointment. Would we be able to get along and be productive with this new element in the house? Would we be able to bring Mike into the fold or would we begin to divide like the red team had? So, these were the thoughts in my mind as we went down to help him suit up. As I reached the locker room door I knew we had to put all of this behind us, take him in and make him a part of the team. So I shook his hand and looked him in the eyes and told him that while Jack was our pick, we would, from that moment on, consider him part of the black team. We were going to bash with him in practice, respect each other, and have each others’ backs. While it took a little time, over the next few weeks Mike found a place on the black team and we found a teammate in Mike. By the end of our time together I again saw the man on the inside of Mike - the one behind the muscles, tattoos, and Mohawks - a guy just trying to do right just trying to make his life count. I respect that guy and I am glad he was on our team. And I am glad our team was strong enough to be able to take him in and continue to be unified. Kobe
In writing this I am reminded of Romans 5:10 And since, when we were his enemies, we were brought back to God by the death of his Son, what blessings he must have for us now that we are his friends and he is living within us! (Living translation) We need to be reminded of this in our churches and in our families. It is only in taking in our enemies that we can ever have them as friends.
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
What may not necessarily be evident on the show is how intelligent Matt actually is. He is a college student, majoring in philosophy with minor in Psychology and he will surprise you with what he knows about most subjects that come up in conversation. Many times when you meet guys that are pretty cerebral they sometimes make things more difficult instead of keeping things simple. The ability to keep things simple is something of a lost art. Matt is one of those rare guys who seem to have the ability to quiet their mind and do the task in front of them without fighting their head. We live in a world where the day we face each morning is usually complicated, confused, and sometimes insane. Yet the second this world pulls us into the insanity, confusion, and complication we are pretty unfit to do anything to change it. Which is why I like a guy like Matt - he can face the storm, quiet his mind, and deliver. There are some dull men out there who are all aggression, all testosterone, and no brains, and while they may be able to get the job done with that makeup, there is usually a lot of collateral damage. No, as men we need to be able to thoughtfully, skillfully, and cleverly meet the challenge that rises to meet us - not simply whack it over the head and drag it to the cave. So how do we operate in this complex world and keep it simple enough to resist being overcome with the problems in it? I think the answer was demonstrated by Matt. He kept focusing on the next step in front of him. He “took no thought for tomorrow.” This is what we all need to do - focus on the next 5 seconds and try to live it well, and repeat…
*Matt Hiltman is currently co-starring with Rope on History's Full Metal Jousting. Matt secured a convincing victory for the black team in the 4th preliminary round of the jousting competition.