A great mentor of mine recently passed away. This man, who was my high school Fellowship of Christian Athletes leader, brought me to know Jesus as my personal Savior and supported me along my faith and athletic journey. I watched at his funeral how so many people, many of whom were athletes, came to celebrate his life because he had impacted them greatly.
It was a good reminder for me of what really matters in this life. In fact, it sparked in me a new sense of urgency. A single, simple conversation with another person could change their life for eternity, just like the ones I had with Doc.
Doc was a connector. He cared so much about you as a person, not focusing on what you were struggling with, but who you are. He was a great representation of Jesus and he inspired me, and so many others, to be the same.
As I navigate a new season in my life — recovering from an injury-related surgery, doing sports commentary, working in the corporate world, while hoping to return to play summer soccer — Doc’s example gives me a better perspective of how I can use new conversations with a variety of different people to show them Jesus. And when I return to the soccer field, I’ll be playing on a team with a lot of younger players, for whom I will be setting an example. This will be a great opportunity for me to play the same game I played and carry myself in a way that’s worth emulating. I want to connect with them, form relationships that count, and share with them the love of Christ.
Doc was connected to so many people in his community. As a local pastor, high school FCA leader, sports commentator, and someone who was very involved in politics, he shared Jesus with people from all walks of life. He got to know people, know their story, and know how to turn them toward Christ. I want to do the same. A pastor recently told me that joining a new job or environment is like joining a new church. It’s a great place to get to know people and share Jesus with them. That’s what I want to do in every area of my life. And right now, I have the opportunity to connect with more people. I have the chance to mirror what Doc did.
Doc’s example and influence are still impacting many, as we remember who he was and Whom he represented. The lives he touched are now touching others, spreading God’s love throughout communities and teams. Whether I’m working a 9-to-5 job or competing on the soccer field, I know there’s a much bigger purpose behind what I do and where I am.
With a new sense of urgency, I’m not going to be passive; I’m going to be active. We are only here for a short while; our lives are like a mist. You hear that, but when you experience someone’s life suddenly gone, you realize the only thing that matters is how many people you share Christ with. We are here to be His light.
— Anna Beffer, professional soccer player
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