by Leo Lewis
Has anyone ever told you, "You're too small to play!" or, "You're too slow." or, "You'll never make it?"
While I grew up playing football, coaches and kids told me things like this all the time. I was small. To them, I was slow. But their comments didn't stop me from playing quarterback in high school, or wide receiver in college.
People have asked me, "How did you overcome your size? How did you get to be so successful?"
I want to share the answer with you. I could never have gotten to this point in my life without some help. I'll be very honest with you, my talent doesn't come from me. My talent comes from God. God has blessed me with the ability to be an athlete. He's the One who gives me the ability to do a good job. He's the One who makes me excel.
Knowing this, I've had to make a choice in my career: I could play football to make Leo Lewis look good, but that would mean my worth as an athlete and as a person would depend on how well I performed.
Would you want your self-worth, your happiness, your enjoyment in life to depend upon whether you won or lost? I wouldn't! I don't want my life determined by the score of a game.
Did you know there's another way to find your true self-worth? It comes from knowing the God who made you, who loves you, and who will never leave you.
When I play football, I play for God. Imagine if your father came to watch you play. You'd want to play your very best and make him happy. I know, that at every game, my heavenly Father is watching me play. Nothing motivates me more than to please Him by giving my best effort. God not only motivates me to do my best, He also picks me up when I fall short. He's there with me whether I win or lose. Playing in the NFL, your team can be up one week and down the next. What a joy it is to know that whether our team wins or loses, God, along with my wife and children, will accept me and love me just as I am.
Do you know that God accepts you, just the way you are? In fact, He cares for you so much that He made it possible for you to know Him personally, one-on-one.
When I discovered this truth as a young person, my life began to turn around. And thanks to some of my teammates on the Minnesota Vikings, I've rediscovered God's love for me in an incredible new way.
Leo Lewis graduated from the University of Missouri where he played wide receiver. After trying out with the St. Louis Cardinals and playing a year in the Canadian Football League, he joined the Minnesota Vikings in 1981.