I grew up in a family of faith, so I was introduced at an early age to the reality of God and Jesus. I didn't question it.
After college, however, the more I studied, the more I began to question everything. I didn't take anything at face value. But I remember, in my most skeptical moment, I couldn't get past the awe and wonder of creation and the reality of God.
I live in southern California for half of the year and Novosibirsk, Russia the other half. I have been a professional volleyball player for eight years. Just as my faith is a process, so too is my understanding of what it means to be a Christian athlete. I believe that God is most glorified when I use the gifts He has given me to the best of my ability, whether I am on international TV or just at training. He has given us all special gifts and I believe it brings Him pleasure when those gifts are used to the maximum. To me this means that I can compete to win with utmost intensity and it can glorify Him.
Faith and life with God is a daily process, and God communicates with me throughout the process. Team work, integrity, work ethic, and discipline all play out in the game of volleyball and also happen to be character-building. So God has used the sport of volleyball to teach me how to be a better man. It is my hope that as I compete and try to excel and be the best player and teammate that I can be, that God will be pleased and glorified.
This is a great reminder at the beginning of a new season to pursue greatness (no matter what you are doing) in the name of God and to cling to the strength He provides. Not with the end goal of winning—though it can be a goal and is a part of the process—but rather to become more like God and glorify Him.
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