Christians in the NFL – Lessons Learned from Andy Dalton – Cincinnati Bengals

When I decided to start this blog, I decided to base the name for the blog on my last name.  It is at the same time pretty cool and very challenging to know that my name “Page” means “servant”.  As a follower of Christ, I must check myself constantly to see if I am living up to my name – am I living in service to the King of Kings.  Or am I serving myself and trying to make it all about me.

I am not alone in this struggle.  We all desire recognition, we like our name to be known, and people will go to great lengths to carve out a place for themselves and capture whatever fleeting moments of fame that they can.  
William Shakespeare wrote in Twelfth Night 
 “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.”  
There is a lot of truth in these words. Some people are born with natural gifts that carry them to the top.  Some work hard and overcome great odds to “make it” and some, through a perfect storm of outside circumstances, have fame and renown land on their shoulders.
Ultimately,  we all desire to “make a name for ourselves”.  
Being a Christ-follower does not mean that we stop trying to carve our niche.  There are countless Christian professionals in all walks of life that try and labor as hard as anyone to reach the top of their profession.  The difference is not in the trying, it is in what you learn from the lessons along the way, and the motivations behind the life we live.  What will the legacy of our life be? Will it be a life lived to honor ourselves, or is it a life lived to honor God?

I came across Dallas Morning News story about Andy Dalton, rookie quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals.  He was a stand-out college QB at Texas Christian University, setting records for passing yards, TD’s and wins. He established quite a football legacy.  
I have never spoken with Dalton, but from what I have discovered through reading articles, I expect that the legacy that he is more glad to leave behind is the one that points others to Jesus Christ.  
You see, last spring, right about the time he was going through final preparations for the NFL draft,  he and a group of 10 others sensed a need for TCU students to have a place where they could experience God.  So they began a ministry called “Ignite“.  It would be a place where students could gather together and worship God as one body.  The first meeting was set up for April 5th, at 9:00pm.  400 people showed up, and the numbers have grown since.  Check out the video below to learn more.  

Dalton was a successful college football player.  Will his skills translate to success in the pros?  Time will tell. I, for one, hope that he is very successful if only for the reason that it will give him opportunities to tell a large audience what God is doing in his life.  In the long run, Dalton’s eyes and heart seem to be focused on the Kingdom of God and sharing the truth about Jesus Christ. May that name always be the name that Dalton seeks to make known above all else!


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