Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Faith Over Football

I love the NFL. It's my favorite sport (although baseball is a close second). My wife knows that come Sunday I will be spending my day of rest camping in front of the TV (with my laptop - fantasy football is my second favorite, um, sport). This, of course, is after having gone to church and eaten brunch. I do have my priorities. But 1:00 PM, 4:00 PM, and 8:00 PM will show as busy on my calendar on Sundays from September to January. Oh yeah, and let's not forget about Mondays and even some Thursdays. I mean, when I hear the Monday Night Football theme song by Hank Williams, Jr., my heart starts racing (although Faith Hill's "Waiting All Day For Sunday Night" theme song for the Sunday night game is growing on me too).


Last year, I had Frank Gore on one of my fantasy football teams. He is the starting running back for the San Fransisco 49ers. He missed some time last year due to injury, so I picked up his back up (handcuff is what we like to call it in fantasy football speak) to spot start while Gore was out. The name of his back up? Glen Coffee. He did really well for me while Gore was out. I started thinking, this rookie is going to make hay one day in the league. At that time, I didn't know much about Glen Coffee. I just needed a running back to start while Gore was injured. As of this week, I know a lot more about him and for good reason. He was a stand out star as the starting running back at Alabama taking the Tide to the SEC title game his Junior year. He rushed for almost 1400 yards that year. He decided to skip his senior year and declare himself eligible for the NFL draft. Money and fame awaited. He got drafted in the third round by the 49ers. He missed out on the Tide winning the national championship in what would have been his senior year of college during his rookie year in the NFL. But, hey, he had the money, right. And it was only a matter of hard work and time for him to hit the lime light. But money wasn't all that he had. He had a burden growing on him daily. That burden had to do with something that took place in Coffee's life during his time with the Crimson Tide in 2007 - he became a Christian and was baptized. Shortly thereafter, he began to accept speaking engagements to share his faith with others through his notoriety as a football star. But that was not enough. He tried faith with football in his life (which is something Tim Tebow of Florida Gator and now Denver Bronco fame is doing even now). But for him, he needed to choose faith over football. In his words, he was "wrestling" with the need to leave football behind - as a 23 year old budding star with even more money and fame surely ahead of him. Instead, he announced his retirement from the NFL this week to pursue "the will of God." He believes that God has another plan for him instead of football, and he is now on the path to pursuing that plan. His first step is to go back to Alabama and finish his undergraduate degree, and then possibly go to graduate school for ministry training. He said, "A lot of people aren't going to understand and realize because they don't have the wisdom to understand. Their eyes aren't open like mine are open. True happiness is glorifying God and glorifying Christ. That's what true happiness is...And for me, that wasn't the NFL. That wasn't where I needed to be." He is now going to pursue some ministry, but he's not yet sure what. He says opportunities will come. He just wants to surrender all and follow Christ.

I have a lot of respect for this type of decision. Yesterday, I got together with some brothers and we talked about this. I asked the question whether it was a tougher decision to leave behind money and fame when you've already had more of it at 23 then most folks get in a lifetime, or to have nothing and make this kind of surrender. It brought up good discussion, and surrendering to God's will for ones life is just as big deal for an all world athlete who has everything than for an unknown man or woman with little to their name. One thing is true, the whole world knows what he did, why he did it, and God is getting the glory. I hope and pray God uses him and protects him in whatever ministry God has for him. And I pray you and I are already pursuing God and His plan for our lives, and, if not, be willing to make the best choice we could ever make in order to do so.

I'm sad I can't draft Glen Coffee for my fantasy team from a football perspective, but from an eternal perspective I'm glad we're on the same team.

Full story: Glen Coffee explains choosing faith over NFL football |

Monday, August 16, 2010

Wanna See Something Scary?

Click here.

I'll give you a hint - it's directly related to the picture below.

This kind of thinking is killing our country and our homes. My wife saw the above picture and laughed. Funny, I had an entirely different response. :) I will write more on this topic later this week, but for now - the web link above and this picture will have to suffice. It's plenty to take in.