Qadry Ismail

Growing Up Fast

Even as a kid, I was always the fastest. I was Track Athlete of the Year in high school, and then became Syracuse's first two-sport All-American since Jim Brown. Even now, I have twice competed in the NFL's fastest man contest.

Growing up, I always considered myself a leader, but at times I got into trouble. Being popular was very important to me, and I wanted to be loved by my friends and by my god. By rising to new heights athletically, I thought these achievements would fill this need for love. But, they didn't.

When Grandmother Prayed

I was raised in the Muslim religion, and there simply came a time when I realized that there had to be something more. While I was feeling empty in my faith, I would see my grandmother experiencing something I wanted. She was a Christian, and every time she would pray to her God, Jesus, things happened. While I was striving to make my life go the way I wanted it, she was supporting my family on less than $10,000 per year. We were never without food on the table. I knew Jesus was the answer, the only true God, and I wanted to have a relationship with Him like my grandmother had.

A Religion For A Relationship

Looking back, I can say that my faith in Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord has brought me peace in times of struggle. No matter what, I know I have the Creator of the universe on my side. I experience the same kinds of loving answers to my prayers now that my grandmother showed me when I was young. Sure, from a logical standpoint, every religion has some sort of flaw, or falls short on something. But, having a personal relationship with the one true God, the Creator of life, is the most important thing a person must do. Remember, it's not a religion, it's a relationship.

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