The transition to Chicago has been really smooth for me. The football side of things has been great! I’m really enjoying the team and my coaches here. The playbook and schedule are exactly the same as they were in Philadelphia, which makes things really easy for me on the field. Having been through these drills for the past two years with the Eagles, I know the system, I know the offense, and I can help my teammates with it as well. Our head coach, Matt Nagy, came from Kansas City, where my previous head coach in Philadelphia came from. So they have a lot of the same beliefs and philosophies on the field. Having already been through a lot of this, I find that many of my teammates are looking toward me to learn from.
Off the field, I love the city of Chicago, though it’s a little colder here than I’m used to. I love the history, the people, the culture. Being one of the top three biggest cities in the U.S., it has a lot going on.
Spiritually, there is also a really big need here. I hear about all the violence that goes on here and I want to make a difference. I know I can’t stop it but I want to get involved in the movement. It’s not just me either, a bunch of guys on the team care about what’s going on in this city and we want to play our part. It’s been really encouraging to see their passion for their community as well.
Every Monday, a number of us teammates have been going downtown to a help a non-profit organization called By the Hand. With this organization, we’ve gone to five of the worst neighborhoods in Chicago to find kids who are failing middle school, with no promise of graduation. We are then able to offer these kids a chance to be part of an afterschool program, in which they are taught how to read and write.
This mission has shown that 93 percent of the kids who take part in this program graduate high school afterward. It’s been incredible to be a part of this. We’ve gone with them many times, and once, we were able to have the kids join us here at the facility. While we are with them, we get to know them, play games with them, listen to their stories, and share our own.
We have a great group of guys here on the Bears who are hungry to make an impact, not just through football; they want to have a longer lasting impact off the field. Seeing these men on fire for change makes me even more excited to be involved.
“Do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” — Hebrews 13:16
Recently, we started having team chapel once a week, led by one of our teammates. Deandre Houston Carson (known to us as DHC) has been leading us through the Book of James. We chop it up for a few minutes in the morning, trying to find a balance between being respectful of people’s time and yet getting a good word first thing. It’s been such a blessing for me to realize how hungry these men are for the Word. There’s a great amount of Christ-followers on this team who want to grow, to be a part of something greater than themselves.
I want to make a difference here. The greatest way for me to do that is to be consistent. While in Philly, I learned the importance of this. The Christ-followers on our team were the ones who were consistent, day in and day out. They had integrity and were not worried about the X’s and O’s of the game. Nothing is easy by any means, but by having the anchor of Christ in our lives, we can live in the freedom and confidence He offers.
Knowing I’m free in Christ allows me to focus my energy and passion into what He’s called me to do.
—Trey Burton, Chicago Bears tight end
Trey Burton is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing monthly articles and opinions.
Check out Trey’s Increase profile here: http://theincreasefootball.com/author/trey-burton/
If you enjoyed this article, please share: