A few weeks ago we didn’t even know if we’d have a football season. Then we were preparing for game one and then two, and this season God orchestrated it so I can be in Arizona with my family. Adjusting to the new team has been a smooth transition. There are a number of guys I played with in New York or college in the locker room, and we have a great team of young core guys.
This is an interesting time we’re all living in. It seems repetitive for me to acknowledge that this year has had its fair share of uncertainties and unknowns. But more than anything, I’m overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude. It’s been a long time since I have gone into a season without any specific athletic goals, but this year that’s exactly what I’ve done. Instead of focusing on long-term goals, I’m simply grateful for each step of the process — each day, each moment, each practice and especially each opportunity I get to go swimming with my kids.
I have realized just how fleeting life is in general, more so now than ever. As a society, we become desensitized to death, or how painful it can be to lose someone we love. Of course I want to play every snap this season, and I want to do it well, but more than that, I’m grateful for another season to play the game I love. I’m grateful for the team I get to play it with. I’m grateful to be able to go through the process of getting ready for the season, the process of getting tested for COVID every day, and even putting on my mask. In the grand scheme of things, I’m grateful I still get to do what God brought me here to do — to bring glory to His name through the platform of football.
I think for most of us in the NFL, we’ve embraced the new normal. We’ve grown accustomed to it already. Without fans, we find ourselves in our own little bubble, even more than we usually are. Life is moving fast through the season. Training camp is already done and we’re in full swing. We don’t have time to complain and get frustrated. Each one of us is playing because we want to.
As Christ-followers, we are walking this walk with Christ because we want to. What’s the alternative? If there is an alternative, is it better than the Christian walk? For me, there is nothing better than walking with Christ. As an athlete, you’re always trying to find ways to optimize your game. As a human, walking with Christ is the best way — the only way.
I don’t say that simply because that’s what I was taught. I have realized how important my relationship with Jesus Christ is; there is no alternative to the Gospel. Every conversation I have with God each day, every moment I get to spend in His Word, and every day I get to walk with Him is a gift. And I’m so grateful for it.
— Kelvin Beachum, Arizona Cardinals left tackle
Kelvin Beachum is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing articles and opinions. Check out Kelvin’s Increase profile here.
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