The Terrific Athlete

by | Jun 11, 1997 | Humility, Spiritual Growth, Trials

A young man I knew in high school was a terrific athlete. He was all-county in several events. Football being one of his specialties, he was given trophies and awards for the 4 years he was in high school. The winter of his senior year he was given a full scholarship to a good college up north. This was his dream to go to college and play for one of the best teams in the country. He had everything, popularity, girls, nice car, family, friends.

He was a Christian and went to church and was active in his youth group. But in the midst of all this popularity he started to change. He was hanging out with a faster crowd now and his conceit took over him. He was coming and going from home as he pleased and was not taking care of his responsibilities at home or to God.

He was drinking and running around with different girls each weekend. We all could see our friend going down the tubes, but he couldn’t see it. Some of his closest friends and family warned him not to be so proud or conceited. He didn’t listen. One night after a football rally, he and some guys went drinking at the cliffs, which was a teen hang out. He had to get up early the next day for a job interview so he headed out early. He was not drunk, or so he thought. He was driving his “girl of the week” home when he lost control of the car speeding and hit a tree.

Why did this happen to him? Adversity comes from different sources. One is from God just as the thorn in the side of Paul describes his struggle with adversity. “there was given me a thorn in the flesh, to keep me from exalting myself” 2 Cor. 12:7

Or we bring on adversity ourselves, “but each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. James 1:14-15 Or the great adversary himself, Satan. “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in you faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. 1 Peter 5:8-9

Satan loved the fact that this guy was so into himself with conceit and lust and not God. God was hurt that His child was so into the world and fading from Him. God needed to bring his child back to Him. And he was on a suicide trip from the beginning when he lost site of God and headed into the joys of “the fast lane.”

Firefighters and paramedics worked on the boy and girl for hours. Both had to be cut out of the car. They were flown to shock trauma in the city. He had fractured his leg in 4 places, amongst other injuries. Which meant several operations in the next few years in order that he would walk again.

She had many injuries but none life threatening. In one split minute his world was altered. He was charged with DUI and a life knowing he messed up. And no more dreams of “big man on campus.” No football, no scholarship. He was brought to his knees to God, crying out in great pain. Many years later I heard that this same boy was in the mission field, he went to college and seminary and was going around the country speaking to teens about the love of God and forgiveness. He spoke for God and touched many hundreds of lives. Each time he spoke he thanked God for the adversity in his life that brought him to where he is today. The adversities we face in life have purpose. Learn from your adversity, thank God for it and let Him be glorified because of it.

Author unknown. If anyone has a proprietary interest in this story please authenticate and I will be happy to credit, or remove, as the circumstances dictate.

Thanks to Tidbits DAILY Devotional


The Terrific Athlete