God Wanted to Play Defensive Back

The most revealing statement I made during college about my faith was soon after the football season in the fall of 1981. That fall, no one in the country at any level of college play, had more interceptions than me – I had 10. When the season ended and I started fielding questions about the year I had, the quick response was that age old expression you hear from a lot from athletes, “I was in the zone”. But then my answer became – “God wanted to play some college defensive back this fall and he choose me”.

The physical ability I had was God given, I knew that. Skills and talents are gifts from Him. However during this season, it was more than physical talent. The Holy Spirit was present and taking me to a higher level of play. My mental ability and natural instinct were higher than they ever were. That season I saw routes developing, had better anticipation, and instinctively knew what the offense would be doing next.

Back then, I was not very open about my faith, so my “God playing Defensive Back” was said with some humor and was the extent of a witness or testimony to my faith. In hindsight, God was working with me in a more subtle way with His timing.

I was exposed to Fellowship of Christian Athletes, even leading the Huddle my Senior year at Lafayette College. Attending Mass with my then college girlfriend, later to become my wife, was an incredible foundation for our relationship. These were little stepping stones building the path to where I am today – helping with a High School Football team, doing character coaching, serving as the FCA Huddle Coach at the local High School, plus serving on the area FCA Board and now blogging about my faith.

The point is around timing and degrees of a living faith within a person.

A good friend of mine shared with me the expression ‘that salvation is a journey not a destination’. We hear a lot about someone being saved and accepting Christ as if that then becomes the final act needed, the destination. In reality recognizing the God given faith inside of us is just the beginning.

I continue to walk my walk with my Lord. It is my personal walk, to be ultimately judged by Him. I would guess the biggest struggle is the pace, how much of it I am trying to control when it needs to be His pace. It is true that we are called to walk; not run or sprint. Although this “on again/off again; two steps forward/one step backward; all over the place” pace just may be His pace for me.

It reminds me of a quote by Tom Peters, the renowned business author, “Life is not about serenely walking down the middle of spic-and-span streets. It’s about veering to and fro, bouncing off the guardrails, and then over-correcting. But you can’t correct a course until you’ve taken to the road!”

The road I have taken is unique and it is mine, one that I was called to take. It blends my faith, family, football, business, my love of quotes and just everyday life together.

To steal a line from a Rascal Flatts song, “God blessed the broken road; it’s all part of a grander plan that is coming true.” I plan to continue to walk my broken road; focused on learning as I go and not racing to the end result. Enjoying my walk and sharing it through devotions and witness with the belief that it serves a purpose, His purpose.

About the Author

Bob Mahr answered a calling to combine his experiences as a business leader, a volunteer football coach and a father with his faith to champion and enrich today’s youth.  Bob is a Director of a multi-million dollar division for a National Supply Chain partner; a Volunteer High School Football; an active member of the local Fellowship of Christian Athletes as a Board Member, Campus Huddle Coach and Character Coach; as well as a father of three daughters all becoming citizens in today’s society.  Bob takes his purpose from Luke 12:48 – to whom much has been given, much is expected.