All I Ever Wanted
I was only 8 years old, and I remember coming off the football field and telling my Mom, I'm going to play in the NFL. It was all I ever wanted to do. My whole life centered around football. As a high school freshman, I lettered on the varsity team, a top HS program in Leesville, Louisiana that made the playoffs every year. Louisiana State University was my choice for college, and LSU gave me a full four-year scholarship. I was always pretty good in school, and my parents had taught me that to achieve what I wanted I had to work hard both on the field and in the classroom. In 1994, I was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks, and got what I wanted. But, I soon found out that the NFL wasn't all glamour like you see on TV every Sunday afternoon. It's a tough job, and there's a lot of disappointment and broken dreams.
Ohana: Family Values
Then, just before my third year in the league, my older brother John was suddenly killed in a car accident. He and I were best friends. Our culture is Hawaiian, and we have a word Ohana which means family-oriented. We grew up with real strong values of accepting responsibility, doing your best, and maintaining a loving family. I was really crushed. Yet, about the same time, my wife Tracy was pregnant and gave birth to our son Kirkland. I couldn't help but ask, Why would God take a life away and then create a life? I wasn't angry with God, I just didn't understand. On my own, I started reading from the Bible, starting with the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament. My brother had just been baptized before he died, and in my reading I came to realize that God has a plan for everybody. We can ask why, but there are things that we'll never know the answer to. That's where faith comes in.
Content, No Matter What
My questioning brought me to an understanding that what I needed was a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We wanted our son to be brought up in a Godly home, so I committed my life to Christ. We know that God used John's death and Kirkland's birth to bring us to Himself because He loves us. He has brought me to the New York Jets, and now He wants me to glorify Him in all that I do, on the field or off. In Proverbs, it says, Commit to the Lord all that you do, and your plans will succeed. (Proverbs 16:3) By success, the Lord means that if you commit your life to Him, you will always be content, no matter what happens.
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