As I grew older, I found that there were other things the world wanted me to believe. One was that you only have one life to live, and then you die. Because of that, you should do your own thing - whatever it takes to live a happy and successful life. As my coaching career took off, I bought right into the world's game plan. I wanted to be a head football coach. In my eyes that would give me all the things, like money and prestige, I wanted and thought I needed. It became an obsession, I wanted to be a head coach more than anything in life.
I bounced around from one assistant job to another, and in 1972, while coaching at the University of Arkansas, God put me together with a small, unassuming, Sunday School teacher from Fayetteville. His name was George Tharel, and I was intrigued by him - as much by his life as his teaching. He was a man at peace with himself and with God. Being driven was one of my strengths, but I envied people who could relax and enjoy life. By looking at his life, I started to see that there was another game plan besides the world's. God's plan was not based on money, position and winning football games. God was only concerned with me having a right relationship with Him. And even though I had become a Christian as a nine-year-old, I had never made God a priority. George helped me see that, and so one night in church I went forward and confessed in my heart, "God, I've known you since I was nine years old, but I have not been living for you. Tonight, I want to rededicate and commit my life to you." As I began to live that out, it became evident that my life was different. Some of the changes were immediate, but others have been a process.
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