I was recently given Tim Tebow’s new book, Shaken, as a Christmas present from my sister-n-law. Tim Tebow’s college football career began right as mine was ending so I was still very much immersed in the college football world as I watched him win game after game. In my younger years, I was a bit skeptical of his faith and actions. I would think to myself, “no one is that good of a person”; but after reading up to page 67 of his book, I have been very impressed. He seems to be the person he claims to be, and that made me somewhat ashamed of my negative attitude about him from when I was a younger man. In the first half of the book, he talks about his identity and often questions the reader about theirs. This began to make me think, even more than I thought it would, about my own identity; who I am, who I was, and who do I want to be.
I will share an intro to a conversation I had with a woman who was at my aunt’s house on Christmas Day. She was a friend of my aunt’s whom I had never met. We were introduced and I said, “Hi, nice to meet you.” And she replied with, “Hi, aren’t you the famous football player, coach guy?” Now I need to remind you that it has been 12 years since I last played a football game and 4 years since I last coached a football game. Yet, this very nice and polite lady still viewed me as a football player and coach. Do not get me wrong, I am very grateful to God for the gifts and abilities He gave me to be able to accomplish all that I was able to accomplish as a football player and coach. Yet, I want to take a second and reiterate the point that it was God and God alone who allowed me to be successful. Everything I accomplished was a gift from Him. Without His blessings, I would have been nothing and am nothing without Him.
This brings me to the question of “Identity and Who We Are?” For the first 31 years of my life, my identity was that of a football player and an athlete. My happiness and self-worth were directly tied to my successes and failures as a player. Simply put, if we won a game, I was happy; if we lost a game, I was not happy. I let the super high-highs of winning and the super low-lows of losing control my entire life. It is a hard way to live and it is even harder to have meaningful relationships with people because you become this roller coaster of emotions, always up and down. It was a selfish way to be and I was a selfish person. When we put our identity in earthly things like being a football player, a business man, a stay at home mom, a teacher or a fireman, we fall short of the glory and peace that Jesus provided when He died for us. For us to be truly at peace, we must put our identity into Jesus Christ and never vary from that. We are all His children made in His image, and with Him the ups and downs of life are more manageable. That is not to say that life is always going to be easy. Even Jesus tells us that in verse John 16:33: “I have told you these things, so that in me you have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Life is hard; Jesus knew that two thousand years ago. But we do not need to make it any harder by trying to go through it alone, without Him. When you can say to yourself, “I identify myself as a follower of Jesus Christ”, you become a solid rock, a person that is in control and is a constant while the storms of life rage all around you. You become the light of Christ for others to see. As the apostle Paul tells us in Acts 13:47: “For this is what the Lord has commanded us: ‘I have made you a light for the gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’” I have made the decision that my identity is in Jesus Christ, no matter what happens in my life. That is who and what I am. That statement brings me a peace and a happiness that was missing for the first 31 years of my life. It is my hope when you read this that you don’t wait 31 years like I did.
JASAT is a product of God’s grace and blessings. We would not be where we are today, being able to do what we are doing, without Him. We will continue to give Him credit and do the best we can to honor Him with the products we bring to our clients.
All the best,
“Speed is a learned skill”