If you could get just one thing out of life, what would it be? I asked myself that question while I was in my second year with the Seattle Seahawks. I had been very successful as a football player: I made All-City, All-District and All-State in high school. I was All-Big Ten three years and a two-time All-American at the University of Michigan.
Despite all these successes there was one big thing I still wanted but didn't have. I wanted the assurance of eternal life.
During my first year in Seattle, I met a linebacker on the Seahawks named Ken Hutcherson. The thing I noticed most about "Hutch" was that he always had a smile on his face. His joy was genuine. It wasn't artificial. It came deep from within him. Even when he suffered an injury that ended his pro career, Hutch possessed a joy that was unexplainable.
I observed Hutch for months. I saw how he lived and the way he treated others. One day, we were in standing in the parking lot at Seahawk headquarters and I asked him, "What makes you have such joy and peace?"
Ken replied, "It's the personal relationship I have Jesus Christ." At first I didn't believe him. But Hutch went on to tell me about Christ and God's purpose for sending Him to earth. Hutch shared this verse from the Bible: "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).
Here was the assurance for eternal life that I had been looking for. It was almost a year later, however, that I decided to do anything about it. I knew that God loved me and had a plan for my life. I knew that I had sinned and that my sinful nature is what kept me separated from God. I knew and believed that Jesus Christ came to earth, died on the cross for my sins, was resurrected, and that He was the only way to God.
Hutch told me I could believe all those things, but that if I wanted a personal relationship with God and the assurance of eternal life, I would have to, by faith, invite Christ into my life. Then He would be my Savior and the Lord who would run my life and direct me to fulfill His plan.
A few months later at a Pro Athletes Outreach conference in San Diego, I accepted Christ into my life. I prayed "Lord Jesus, I need you. I ask that you come into my life to be my Savior and my Lord. I ask you to forgive me of the sin that I have committed. Make me into the man that you would have me be." I then thanked Him for coming into my life.
Though there wasn't any lightning when I said "Yes" to God, I've never been the same since. As a Christian I've noticed two major changes in my life:
First, God has made me humble. I used to be a very proud man. Often, people would not feel very comfortable being around me. Today though God has made me much more open to others than I ever have been. I am still proud of my abilities as a pro football player and as a man. I am humbled, however, to know that my talent, in fact all of who I am, comes from God.
The second big change is knowing that Christ is Lord of my life. He's my reason for living. I just want to be all that God would have me to be. Even when I fail, I know that God still loves me. My wife, Rhonda, has shown me God's love in this way because she continues to love and accept me even when I blow it.
I believe you won't really find a satisfying answer to that question unless you look into God's Word. There is no greater reason for living than to commit your life to God who gave you life in the first place. Accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord and you will receive eternal life and experience His peace and joy -- right now.
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.