Foreman, George – Rebirth experience - 02 Why Do I Keep Thinking About Dying
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
God in my Corner – A Spiritual Memoir – George Foreman
NOT READY TO DIE
Upon hearing the judges' decision, I hastily returned to my hot, stuffy dressing room-the place where I was supposed to "cool down." Joining me in the room were my trainers, Gil Clancy and Charley Shipes, physician Dr. Keith West, equipment manager John Fowlkes, masseur Perry Fuller, bodyguard Lamar, and my brothers Roy and Sonny.
The building’s air-conditioning had gone out that night, and the intense heat was smothering me. I've never been so hot in all my life! Large drops of perspiration streamed down my face and chest. But I was also energized, still running on adrenalin. I paced back and forth in the room, like a racehorse trying to cool down. Wiping the sweat off my face, I hollered, "Man, it's hot in here! Somebody open a window!"
But the room had no windows except for a small vent over the door that somebody cracked open. It didn't help the air flow one bit. As I kept pacing back and forth, I reflected on the fight and my future.
I lost the fight. That’s no big thing. I’m George Foreman. I can do television and movies. I've got money to travel. I've got everything I want- I could go home right now to my nice ranch and retire. And die. And die?
WHY DO I KEEP THINKING ABOUT DYING?
I looked around the room, wondering where that voice was coming from. I figured the wails must be speaking to me! I tried again to shake off the negative image in my mind. I've got too much to live for. I don't want to die. I don't care about this stupid boxing match. I could walk away from this right now. I've got a contract with a television network to make movies, and I could retire right now.
The ominous words came again: And die. Die! This was the third time that word intruded on my mind, but it was not coming from me. I had heard about boxers dying after big fights. Was I next? That’s not going to happen to me! I assured myself, I’m not depressed. I’m okay.
Just then, a voice interrupted my thoughts. You believe in God. Why are you afraid to die?
Where did that voice come from? Was that God talking to me? Yeah, I believed in God. I just didn’t believe in religion. I knew that somebody made the sun, moon, and stars, but I hated going to church, hearing all those pitiful old songs people Sung, and using words like "thee" and "thou." I didn’t believe in all that. l thought religion was just for poor people. It wasn’t for me, because I was rich.
The voice spoke again: If you believe in God, why are you afraid to die? Now I was scared. In fact, I had never been so afraid in all my life! A few months before, I had prayed in my bedroom for God to take my life if He would heal my nephew. I never dreamed He would actually take me up on it. I continued to pace back and forth even faster. I was fighting to keep myself alive because I knew death was staring me in the face.
I reminisced about some favourite things that had happened during my life, recalling them like a video tape running fast-forward, as though I knew somehow that it was about to end. By now I was crying. I decided I wanted to make a deal with God. My mind was racing, hurriedly trying to figure out what I could do on my part. What does a mere human being own that he can use to barter with God? I’m still George Foreman, I thought. I can still box. I can give money to charities. I can give to cancer charities. . . .
The voice thundered, I don't want your money. I want YOU!
I knew that couldn’t be a human voice, because every human I knew wanted money. This voice turned down my money!
I believed in God, but I didn’t want to die. My body was toned perfectly, and I had everything in life the way I wanted it. I wasn’t ready to die at such a young age. Finally, I said, "God, I believe in You but not enough to die."
I felt sure that my life was about to end, and amazingly one thing troubled me more deeply than anything else. It wasn’t fear of hell or disappointment at missing heaven. It bothered me that I didn’t have a chance to say goodbye to my mother. My mother had been so good to me; she had believed in me even when there was nothing to believe in. But that's what mothers do. They believe despite the odds. Now I knew that I was about to leave this world, and I felt sad that I didn't at least have an opportunity to express my thanks to her for all she had sacrificed for me. I wish I'd have had a chance to say good-bye, I thought.
At that moment, I felt my legs buckle and I collapsed, pitching forward toward the floor. I could feel myself falling and I yelled to the others in the room, "Hey, I'm fixing to-“ Before I could finish my sentence, I was gone.
The source of the experienceForeman, George
Concepts, symbols and science items
Activities and commonsteps
OverloadsFever and hyperthermia
Traumatic injury to the brain and head banging