Lance Gunn played for the Texas Longhorns in the early 1990's and amassed numerous defensive records, ultimately becoming an All-American. Because of his success in college football, he was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals. He then played for the New Orleans Saints and ultimately ended up playing in the European NFL for the Frankfort Galaxy. His ultimate goal was to play in the Canadian Football League and work his way back into the NFL here in the states. Then, in 1996 a life-changing event happened.
Lance's father became very ill and to save his life, Lance donated a kidney to his father. This meant an end to playing football, and an end to his high paying salary, and an end to his dreams and plans of working through the ranks to become among the best of the best in the NFL. "I felt very fortunate to be able to add that quality to my dad's life, the person who gave me life," Lance said. "It was a no-brainer decision."
I recently watched a video where Lance was giving a pre-game pep talk to a present-day team from UT, and his insight prompted me to share three points with you.
1. We are connected. Lance wanted the team to know they were connected to each other, and that connection included winning games, becoming good at the job they were called to do, and be a better person through reaching common goals.
2. They think they know, but they have no idea. He was referring to the opposing team. They may think they know us, through our history or perhaps watching game films, but they have no idea what we can accomplish when our hearts, minds and bodies are set on being successful.
3. Accomplish this task for yourself. Lance went on to explain this was not in the sense of being stingy, but that making sure we were accomplishing something for ourselves actually explodes into winning for the team, the school, and the community.
Now look at how closely these three points can relate to your Christian life. Think and pray about them.
1. We, too, are connected. In spite of the variety of our personalities, occupations, backgrounds, etc., we are connected in the Body of Christ. It is through the gifts of the Holy Spirit that all our differences can come together as "one," and we become a force for doing God's work.
2. Satan may think he knows us, but he has no idea where God wants to lead us and the sense of eternal security, personal dedication, and our determination to be victorious over anything the devil sends our way.
3. Accomplish this task for yourself. Not to be boastful in our accomplishments, but to know the things we do and the words we say just might be the determining factor for others coming to Jesus. It is as though we are building a spiritual legacy to pass to those that follow us, as we function in the life of the church, always giving God the glory.
Oh, and Lance is currently using his marketing degree and is the Director of Sales for Frito-Lay in central Texas. You can thank him for his example, and for the pep-talk we all need from time to time.