He's Always Got My Back
I didn't start going to church when I was really young. My family started going when I was in the fifth or sixth grade. Originally, I was just going with my parents to what I called “big church” at the time—with the grownups (the main Sunday morning service). But then my friends started inviting me to go to the “middle school ministry” (Sunday school class), and when I got confident enough, I started going to that. I had a blast with that, and I came to know the Lord as my Savior when I was in seventh grade. I went through Confirmation (classes that teach you the foundational beliefs of the Christian faith) with a bunch of my friends, and stayed involved in church as I went through high school.
My faith plays a big role in playing football and in my role as quarterback. My freshman year here (U. of Oklahoma), I really kind of struggled with my faith, with going to FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes), and during that time I was really struggling with football. I was red-shirted, I wasn't playing football, I wasn't having any fun. Looking back, I realized that the time I turned my back on God and was struggling with my faith, I was also struggling with playing football. But then when I started getting back into reading the Word (the Bible) and back into my routine of going to FCA, that’s when things with football started to fall into place.
Probably the biggest things I’ve learned are just the power of patience and perseverance, and knowing that everything God does, He does for a reason. He knows what He’s doing. It’s not our job to question what He’s doing with our lives. He has a purpose for it, and we just have to trust Him and know that His plan is the right way.
A lot of athletes, when things are going good, feel like God’s doing the right thing. But then, all of a sudden, when things go bad, they feel like God’s punishing them. But, really, they just need to know that God has a master plan for all of us, and to just be patient and realize that everything is going to work out.
I never really let peer pressure get to me. It’s something my parents had always talked to me about. Maybe not so much with my faith, but with other things—people are going to pressure you to drink or to do drugs—and I think I just carried that over to my faith. Why should I care what everyone else thinks about how I believe?
Kids [who struggle with peer pressure] would be surprised at how many people would be interested to hear about their faith. I think there are a lot of people who are scared to share their faith because they think everyone else is so strong in theirs, or they think that others don’t care. But I think you’d be surprised with how much you have in common with other people.”
[In relation to sports], before every game, I read the story of David and Goliath. Reading that story assures me of God and His power. It gives me confidence just knowing that He’s always going to be there for me, and that, when you go in His name, He’s going to take care of you. It helps just knowing that I’m not going out there on the field alone. I’m always going out there with God. He’s always got my back. Even if things on the field don’t go my way and there’s 80,000 people booing me, or if we lose a game and the whole state wants to cut off my head, I always know that there’s Someone who loves me unconditionally.
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