I am a long time WWE Fan, but more importantly I am a diehard Shawn Michaels fan. Shawn Michaels has always been my favorite wrestler. When he made his return to the ring at the 2002 summerslam event I was astounded with elation.
About 3 and a half years ago I read on the internet how Shawn became a born again christian, and that wrestling no longer absolutely established who he was as a person. When I read that wrestling no longer consumed him the way it once had, I have to admit I was disappointed. I was disappointed because I felt that I would never again see the HBK that was on top of the wrestling world from 96 'to 98'. I felt this way simply because wrestling was no longer his number 1 passion, or should I say obsession, in his life anymore. I waited so long for him to be the WWE Heavyweight Champion. It was awesome seeing him as the IC champ in the early to mid 90's as he was one of the greatest intercontinental champions of all time, in my opinion, of course. When he first captured the WWE title in the first ever 60 minute Iron Man Match against Bret Hart at Wrestlemania 12 .. I wanted to see his title reign last forever. This is from the standpoint of an extreme Shawn Michaels fan.
From a personal standpoint I found it interesting because I, myself, was really trying to find myself spiritually around the time of reading this. Back in 1999, when I was 16, I had a girlfriend who was a born again christian. I did not know what it was all about, but I wanted to become a born again christian as well to feel closer to her. She lead me into prayer in which I repeated the words she would say, but I repeated these words without really listening to what I was saying. I did not go to church, or ever read the bible. I had no clue what born again christianity was all about, but supposedly I was saved at the age of 16. However, after a horrifying experience that led to the demise of our relationship, I fell into a deep depression and became very bitter. At this point I had absolutely no faith in God.
In the summer of 2002, a woman mistakenly rang my doorbell thinking she was ringing the doorbell of my neighbor. My neighbor had apparently visited the church that this woman attended. I told her that she had run the wrong doorbell. She casually started talking about how God had changed her life, and I was really touched by her words and her emotions as she spoke. She asked me if I ever had surrendered my life to the lord. I never considered what I did back in 1999 as surrendering my life to the lord .. simply because I just repeated some words without actually meaning them. So I told the lady that I had never done so. When the lady asked me if I wanted to surrender my life to the lord .. I do not know what it was exactly .. Maybe it was because the woman was so nice and I felt I would let her down if I didnt .. or the feeling of vulnerability with a need to find meaning in my life .. I'm not sure exactly, but once again I surrendered my life to the lord.
Again, however, I did this with no real knowledge or a real belief in Jesus Christ. My dad's side of the family is catholic, and some members of the family would always say grace at dinner. So I just took it as a given that Jesus Christ excelled and died for all of our sins. I never really formed an informative opinion about it before. The lady who ran my doorbell wanted me to go to church, and I did not want to at all. I just thought of church as a real bore, but she ended up talking me into it. I kept fighting back and forth with myself with whether or not I should get involved with religion.
I prayed on it but felt such a wave of energy running through me like I had never felt before. I started getting chills, and my heart would beat so fast whenever I would think of God and Jesus Christ. I kept repeating in my head that Jesus Christ is my lord and savior, and had died for all of my sins. The more I thought of this the more I started to feel greater spurts of energy and chills running through my body. I noticed that I was being distracted with so many random feelings. Feelings of lust, hunger, fatigue, and other similar feelings are the more I consumed my mind with thoughts of Jesus. It was like something was triggering these feelings to take my mind off of these spiritual thoughts. It was very strange and surreal. I would tell you everything thing else that I experienced, but you would probably think I was insane or hallucinating.
Nonetheless I started going to church, and started to get attached to the feeling of being part of something really important very fast. I read a book titled "Winning The War Within", and I read in there how Satan works really hard on distracting Christians with things of the flesh and the world. When I read that, it really made me feel that all of the things that happened that one night was Satan's attempt to distract me .. yea I know it sounds insane! I read that with born again christianity the more spiritual you are the more Satan tries to bring you down. I also read that as a strong believing christian, you are a big threat to Satan. I was learning more and more about born again christianity.
I started taking certain things that would happen through the day, and would convince myself that a higher spiritual power caused these things to happen. It became quite ridiculous to be perfectly honest. I took things in that I read and analyzed the content so much to the point where I kind of became a spiritual fanatic. Everytime I went to church it was so intense for me. I wanted to be everything the pastor preached about Jesus, and when I felt I could not, I would mentally punish myself for it. My life became so wrapped around this new faith that I wanted to keep so badly. I felt so opposed to anyone close to me who did not share this faith, which happened to be everyone. My girlfriend at the time did not want anything to do with me, and my best friend was telling me how I was becoming brainwashed. My other friend and my dad would try to talk to me about something different, but I was just so upbeat about a lot of topics that were controversial with my new-found christian beliefs.
It got to a point where I could barely talk to anyone outside of the church without getting really upset. While in church, I would break down and cry because I just could not handle it anymore. I ever just gave up on it because I was trying way too hard to be a brand new person so fast, and I was way too hard on myself. Plus I jumped the gun, and was willing to believe that everything the pastor would say was the absolute and only truth. I went into this whole new stage of my life being so naive that I believe anything, and everything I heard in church.
When it came down to it .. I did not want to risk losing my girlfriend, my friends, and even my dad. I would get into such big statements with him over things that started with a talk about my day at church on sundays. He claimed that ever since I got involved with religion, I've become obsessed and different. I also got the same vibe from my friends, and especially my girlfriend at the time. I looked at the situation, and asked myself do I really want to go on like this? I was never baptized, nor did I ever practice an organized religion before this. I realized that it was too sudden and that I was not ready for such a radical change in my life. It just was not for me.
I guess the reason I'm saying all of this is because I respect anyone who can be a certain way for so long, and then have the ability to totally reshape themselves for the better. It takes a great deal of human will, devotion, and inner strength to dedicate your whole life to a cause. Deep down I feel that dedicating your life to something that is bigger than yourself is the most unforgettable, and amazing thing you can do with your life .. even though at this stage in my life, I am not ready to make such a commitment. For this I respect Shawn Michaels tremendously not only as professional athlete, and what he has brought to the business of professional wrestling .. but as an admirable and an amazing human being.