Set by God
I grew up in a home with amazing parents who love Jesus and taught me about the Lord. So from a young age, I learned a lot about who Jesus is, what He did for me, and how by believing in Him I would be saved from death and get to live in heaven with the Lord. So when I was very young, I [admitted] my sin—which at that time consisted of temper tantrums and disobedience to my parents—and asked the Lord to forgive me. Growing up, I continued to learn about God at church; and looking back, [I recognize] tons of ways that the Lord has impacted my life.
I hate confessing this, but a lot of times God is not real to me. I’m just giving Him “lip service,” just moving my mouth when I praise Him and say that He can do anything. But then there are times when the Lord is so real to me and I get a little glimpse of God’s greatness.
There are many ways in which the Lord reveals Himself to me, but here are two things in my life that have really shown me how real and alive God is. First, I have been on several mission trips, and seeing people all over the world worship the Lord, and the joy that they have even though they have very little in terms of material possessions, has truly changed my life. I sometimes think about God in my world, and forget that it’s me in His world. Seeing people all around the globe worshiping and following the same God that I worship and love reinforces how real and BIG our God is.
Secondly, for some reason, God chooses to actually hear my prayers and answer them. I have learned that there are absolutely, without question, no coincidences. God has a reason and purpose for everything that happens. So when I ask the Lord for things, I know that it’s no coincidence that the thing happened, but it is God answering my prayer. For example, I pray with some of my teammates every week and the Lord has already done amazing things like allowing me or my teammates to have spiritual conversations with other guys on our team, or taking guys to church who you would never think would go. It’s things like these where the Lord so blatantly answers my prayers that show me how real He is.
It is awesome to think that I can have a relationship with God, who created this place, just like I can have a relationship with any of my friends here on earth (God knows more about me than my friends and still loves me). We can have conversations and hang out. It just blows me away that God, who is so magnificent and glorious, would want me to depend on Him, talk with Him, experience Him, and represent Him to this world. I am amazed that God, the Creator, would give me that opportunity.
Playing football for the University of Texas has been an unbelievable experience. Hearing the cheers of 95,000 people, experiencing success on the field and building relationships with fellow teammates have been an unbelievable experience. As great as all this is, “I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus."