Tony Dungy: Asking ‘What’ Instead of ‘Why’

Here is a great quote by Tony Dungy from his new book, Quiet Strength: The Principles, Practices & Priorities of a Winning Life. Tony lost his 18-year-old son, James, back in 2005.

Why do bad things happen? I don’t know. Why did Jamie die? I don’t know. But I do know that God has the answers, I know he loves me, and I know he has a plan – whether it makes sense to me or not. Rather than asking why, I’m asking what. What can I learn from this? What can I do for God’s glory and to help others?

Tony Dungy is head coach of this year’s Super Bowl winning Indianapolis Colts.

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  1. Doug Jones says:

    What a great quote… what, rather than why.

    As a former Floridian – I have been an avid watcher of Dungy’s life and career. A very admirable person. Thanks for sharing that.

  2. Ray Fowler says:

    Hi Doug,

    I enjoyed visiting your blog earlier today. I am another former Floridian. I lived in Homestead (just south of Miami) from 1992-1994 and in Plantation (just west of Fort Lauderdale) from 1994-2004. When and where did you live?

  3. eclexia says:

    1992 was quite the year to start living in Homestead! Did you move there before or after Andrew?

    Tony Dungy’s testimony has made quite an impact on my preteen son. He (my son) struggles with a good bit of anger at things that have happened in his life already. He sat and read through Tony’s testimony on the website that he and the other coach (I’m not a football fan and can’t remember his coach friend’s name who was on the other team) set up. A lot of what Tony said spoke to directly to my son’s struggles.

    I’m so thankful for people with high visibility who consistently live out their faith.

  4. Ray Fowler says:

    I was wondering if anyone would pick up on that date! We moved to Homestead in 1992 before Hurricane Andrew. (I don’t know of too many people who moved to Homestead in 1992 after Hurricane Andrew! 🙂 ) We like to say that we moved to Homestead, and then Hurricane Andrew unpacked our boxes for us. Maybe someday I will blog about our experience.

  5. eclexia says:

    I would ______ (“enjoy” doesn’t seem like the best choice of words, but I can’t think of a good one right now) hearing/reading about your Hurricane Andrew experiences. I was not there, but knew many people who were. It impacted me deeply, year after year, to see how the upheaval continued to affect people. Three years later, our friends were beginning to be able to live again without every part of their lives still being affected by and directly connected to Andrew.

    It was because of Andrew and my friends who went through that time that I first began to think about scrapbooking life’s painful memories and not just the happy ones. Years later, I went through an awful time and found some healing by being able to combine photos from my own painful time with Scriptures which God had met me with.

    I am, for whatever reason, drawn to people’s experiences of pain and suffering. Remembering and chronicling those experiences not only helps to make sense of them for the person that went through it, but it also helps the hearer to get a glimpse and be able, in a small way, to feel the pain and confusion the sufferer has experienced and share that with them.

    Finally, for me, recollections of traumatic times put flesh and blood to the faithfulness of God. There are days when I do not tangibly see that faithfulness in action (although I still trust). It helps greatly in those times, to enter into the more or less completed experience of another’s suffering and see vividly: Even THERE, even THEN, even in the worst of situations, God was faithful. God was at work. God carried His people through things they could never have imagined. It’s not about a happy ending to an awful situation, but somehow just seeing how there in the sadness and awfulness, God With Us made a difference. Not removing His people from the awfulness, but being with them in it.

    I guess that is part of why I appreciate biographies (like the Tony Dungy one referred to above) and also why I will certainly be among your readers if you blog about your Andrew experiences.

  6. Sharon Gamble says:

    I agree with Eclexia. It helps just to know God is with us in the hard times. In one of my hard times, I just pictured myself as a toddler, lost and confused in a busy, foreign city…holding tightly to my Father’s hand. As long as He held my hand, I would be ok. I kept saying “I’m still holding your hand, Lord” as I walked through a time of intense grief and confusion. His hand held. Hallelujah! I like the idea of journaling or scrapbooking it all. I wrote mine down, because that is the way I communicate best. Scrapbooking would be an awesome way to record how God was there as well…

  7. tom chastain says:

    tony dungy has a new book coming out called “you can do it” the publisher is and it is a christian childrens book and it comes out in june and tony dungy writes about his childhood and how his parents made a difference in the lifes of himself and his sisters life. tony dungy wanted to play football and his sister wanted to go into medicine these were their dreams and tony dungy writes about how his parents strengthened their faith and gave them the courage and self esteem to help them with the talents that God had given them. the book is already avalible for pre order online. it would make a great gift for a friend or family member.

  8. Ray Fowler says:

    Tom – Thanks for the info! That’s the first I heard of it. It sounds like a great book.

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Tony Dungy No. 1 on NYT Bestsellers List at Ray Fowler .org
  2. National Day of Prayer 2007 at Ray Fowler .org
  3. National Day of Prayer 2008 at Ray Fowler .org

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