Triggers - Tress Way

Matthew 6:33 says, “Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” This is one of my favorite verses. Right before this line, Jesus is talking about all the things that really mattered to His audience — food, clothes, comfort, etc.


What are “these” for you? What are the things you deeply care about? For me, that would be my wife, my kids and who I am as a man. I want to be the kind of guy people look up to and trust. I want to seek God first and involve Him in every area of my life. After 29 years of living, I have yet to find any other thing outside of Jesus that can bring the type of abundance and joy He offers. So any time I’m feeling triggered, discouraged or discontent, I go to this verse for some encouragement. If I can control what I can control and trust Him to work in my heart and life, He never lets me down. In fact, He comes through better than I ever could imagine!


But we do have triggers in our life that tempt us to step away, don’t we? Our triggers will always be there, batting 1.000. They will sneak up on us when we are at our weakest. So what do we do to guard against the battles we will face?


I’ve found that when I have a steady relationship with other Christ-followers around me, whom I can go through life with, I’m not as tempted by the triggers. Yes, they are still there, but if I’m consistently in the Word, reading and praying with my friends, my men’s group, and my wife, and if I’m staying up on my Bible plan and daily time with God, suddenly the triggers are not as powerful against me. But if I do skip days in these things or fall short in what God is calling me to do, anything and everything could be a trigger. We are called to be uncommon in the world we live in. If I stay connected with Him, I’m motivated to be the man, husband, father and friend He’s calling me to be. I need to arm myself and fight with the sword (the Word of God) He’s equipped me with.


During my first couple years in the NFL, I was feeling very alone. This wasn’t due to anyone else but myself. My wife was still in nursing school in Oklahoma and I was away from my family, flying by the seat of my pants. Football was the big thing in my life, not just a part of my life. I wasn’t letting God influence every area of my life and I wasn’t allowing anyone to speak into my life on a regular basis. I was complacent. But once I decided I needed more — I wanted more — I started reaching out to others I could pray and grow with. My moment of recognition led to a moment of action and my life hasn’t been complacent since.


I’m thankful for the position I’m in within the NFL, and as a husband and dad. So when people who really care about me ask how I’m doing, how my family is doing, and what they can be praying for in my life, I’m encouraged to do the same for them. I want to be better at initiating these questions toward others because I know that the simple act of asking a question to someone can allow them to open up, become vulnerable, and as a result, less likely to be triggered.


When we choose to be real with each other and with God, we can live and act in the freedom and strength God offers us. We can live life to the full.


— Tress Way, Washington Redskins punter


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