From a young age I knew about God and was a regular attender at Sunday School each week. As an 11 year old I attended a school Christian meeting and there accepted the Lord into my life. For years after that my Christian life was something of a roller coaster. There were times when I was earnestly serving the Lord and times when I drifted away. It was only at university that I realized that being a Christian was more than just going to church and being religious, it was a relationship between myself and Jesus.
Rugby success came at an early age. I played for Selborne College and represented Border in the 1992 Craven Week. It was an awesome challenge and I kept asking myself: Why me? Why had I been given this responsibility? Did God have some special task and role for me to fulfill? I was only 21 when I was selected as captain of Eastern Province Senior team.
The following season I moved to Gauteng to play for the Golden Lions. I gained further experience playing for Queensland in the Super 12, the Emerging Springboks and then the Springbok tour to UK and Ireland and finally made my test debut for the Springboks during the 1999 Tri-Nations series. The turning point in my life came during a quiet time of soul searching while trying to discover my purpose in life, the Lord showed me His plan for my life. Romans 9:17 says, for the scripture says to the Pharaoh, for this very purpose I have raised you up that I might show my power in you and that my name may be declared in all the earth.
I felt the Lord showing me that I had been given rugby talents to show His power and declare His name. Similarly everyone has been given gifts and talents that the Lord wishes you to use to declare His name. I encourage everyone who reads this to start a personal relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ who made a way for us to God. Ask the Lord to reveal His plan for your life and then I pray you will get as much fulfilment as I have in doing God's will and serving Him.
Being a Christian has changed my whole perspective as a rugby player. When my side loses I don t have to be depressed and my whole world does not fall apart. Because rugby is not the centre of my life Jesus is. I am still disappointed if we lose and I want to win and play well. But I know that's not everything. The most important thing in my life is my relationship with God. The things of this world will fail you. People will fail you. Christ is constant. That s where you can put your faith and trust.