Ken Mitchell played for the Atlanta Falcons. Today, he makes his home in Winter Park, FL.





Ken Mitchel

Here's a question I've asked myself for years. I wonder if you can answer it:

How could a 185-pound walk-on junior, a guy with no previous football experience, ever play linebacker for a major college team and go up against players 240 pounds or more?

You know what? I was that 185-pound player! I hadn't played a single down of organized football in my life. Then, after college something even more impossible happened: I tried out for the Atlanta Falcons and made it. I went on to play three years in the National Football League.

A dream come true, you say? Yes, it was. But for me, pro football was also a nightmare. What saved me from ultimate tragedy is much more remarkable than how I made it in the pros.

Pro football is a lot of what you see on television: It's big crowds, big time excitement, and an incredible rush that comes from winning. But behind the glamour of the game day, I experienced real hurt and pain.

I thought I had it all..., a big car, a nice place to live. These things filled up 99.9 percent of my life. But inside I was an empty man.

Even before I got to the pros, things were bothering me. Everything I was doing was for me. There was no fulfillment. I was going to die and there would be nothing after that. There was no purpose in life.

I might have kept getting more depressed if I hadn't met some teammates who were a lot different than me. They enjoyed life. Football wasn't their whole life. They were living for something more than a paycheck.

I wanted what they had. Several months later, I found out what it was I had been missing. "So this is what life is all about," I thought. For the first time in my life I was content. I still struggled with doing things I knew weren't good for me. But the amazing thing was that the peace I felt inside wasn't something I had to work at.

Recently I've entered some grueling Ironman triathlon races. That's a 2.4 mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a 26-mile run all back to back! Sometimes these races are a lot like life; it can feel long, painful, and impossible.

I always thought Christians were weak and needed a crutch. How wrong I was. As much guts and determination as it takes to finish Ironman triathlons, I have found it takes more strength to live as a Christian. But, Christ provides me with all the will, determination and the desire to serve him.

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.