Johnny Holland has been a National Football League player since 1987. He and his wife, Faith, make their home in Sugar Land, TX where they are actively involved in their church as well as the community. In addition to working with youth, the Hollands are involved with Athletes In Action.

 

 

 

Johnny Holland

Playing in the NFL has been an experience I'll treasure forever. I can't think of anything I'd rather be doing to make a living.

As a youngster growing up in Hempstead, TX, I dreamed of playing professional football or basketball. I began to realize that dream in high school as an all-state player in both sports. I also ran track and was in the top 10 academically with a 3.6 grade point average.

Then I went on to Texas A&M University where I was an All-America selection my junior year and senior years. A short time later, my dream became a reality when the Green Bay Packers made me their second-round draft choice in April 1987. Before the end of the year, I made the All-Rookie team which was very gratifying.

After that I began to live for football. I wanted All-Pro honors, a big contract and all the material benefits that money could buy. You might say that I put my security in football.

The following year I suddenly realized that there was more to life than sports. I discovered that a football career couldn't satisfy my deepest needs. Like most people, I desired real peace and contentment in my heart, and I needed to be loved unconditionally.

My search for the purpose and meaning of life ended when I heard Reggie White speak at Texas A&M. He had a message that inspired me to make the greatest decision of my life. He challenged everyone with this thought: "If you were to die today, where would you spend eternity?"

I hadn't given it much thought before, but I knew in my heart that I wasn't sure. I grew up in a Christian home and even read the Bible, but was that enough to get me to heaven when I died? Could being a nice person all of my life be enough to get me to heaven?

The answer was and still is -- no. The Bible says that the only way to heaven is through God's only Son, Jesus Christ.

"There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name given among men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)

"Jesus said, 'I am the way, and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.'" (John 14:6)

That night I committed my life to Jesus Christ, and I knew it wasn't something I could put off until later. The Bible says, "Behold, now is the day of salvation." (2 Corinthians 6:2) We have no guarantee of being alive tomorrow. In fact, we're not even guaranteed our next breath!

By establishing a personal, day-to-day relationship with Jesus, I received so much more than the free gift of eternal life in heaven. Christ gave me real joy and peace -- a peace I never had before. God also gave me the strength to face any adversity that might come my way. Life here on earth isn't easy, nor is it fair, but God can help us through the tough times if we just ask Him to.

Finally God gave me a new perspective of the game I love. No matter what uniform I wear, I'm dedicated to giving 100 percent all the time because God expects nothing less that my best effort. My ultimate goal is to please Him in everything I do. After all, Jesus Christ did everything for us -- He loved us so much that He died on the cross for our rebellion against God (which the Bible calls sin). Then He conquered death so that we would have the hope of eternal life. The world has no other hope -- except for Jesus Christ.

If you would like to know more about Jesus and what He can do for you, just click the button on the left side of your screen to change your life.