By Del Duduit
Some people have their lives planned out.
They go to college, major in a certain degree and find a career right out of school in which they work until they retire.
That sounds awesome.
Me? Not the case.
I attended Ohio University, majored in Sport Sciences and had dreams of working in the front office of a professional or college sports program.
The closest I came was when I served as a sportswriter and later the sports editor for my local newspaper. To this day, these jobs provided the most fun and helped me in my recent writing journey.
But things can change in the twinkling of an eye.
For the past 15 years, I have been part of an industry that has provided a good living for me and my family. But three years ago, I was introduced to the world of Christian writing at a conference. Since then, my focus and direction have changed.
Although I have nothing in common with Ben Utecht, I can relate because he switched professions. He had to. But it has all worked out, which gives me hope.
Ben had a productive career in the NFL. But frequent concussions cut his tenure short as a tight end for the Indianapolis Colts.
He is a big man, standing six-feet-six inches tall and weighing in at 245 pounds. He was on the receiving end of many passes from Peyton Manning and won a Super Bowl in 2006 with Indy.
I caught up with him at the 2018 Super Bowl festivities in Minneapolis.
He told me how important his faith has always played a big role in his life and how everything works out to those who serve God.
His story is featured in my latest book, First Down Devotions: Inspirations from NFL’s Best. Here is a portion from chapter 16:
In 2014, he recorded a song called “You will always be my girls,” which he dedicated to his wife Karyn and daughters in case one day his brain injuries prevent him from knowing who they are.
After his fifth concussion, he decided to hang up the cleats. Music was always his passion and it became a second career. After all, it was his first love in high school and college.
He has recorded several albums which includes a Christmas album nominated for a Dove Award in 2012.
“I love music so much,” he said. “I never prayed for success in music, but the Lord knew it was a passion of mine. My prayer was always, ‘if it’s something You want me to do, then bring the right people in my life.”
That is what God did. Ben sung at a youth event in Indiana and was approached by Sandy Patti, who was in the audience and impressed with what she heard. She introduced him to Bill and Gloria Gaither, and soon Ben cut his first album.
“If I had not gone to the Colts, I would never have sung at that rally and never met the people I did,” he said. “God’s timing and plan is amazing.”
Have your plans ever changed? Did you have dreams of something big and somehow those dreams never came true?
You are being prepared for what the Lord has in store for you. Go back and read the part where Ben meets Sandi Patti. That might not have ever happened if he did not play professional football.
You can be what God wants you to be, but you must show patience. To question God is human nature, but to understand takes faith. The Lord knew Ben’s passion to sing and made it possible for his story to happen.
A family tragedy inspired me to write a manuscript four years ago. A few months later, I met my agent, and a new world of writing opened up for me after I want to a conference. Ben was right when he said God’s plan is amazing.
What is your desire? What fire do you possess within you that no one knows about? Are you willing to do whatever the Lord wants from you? This may not be easy to do, but it’s what He expects from us, and he will not call us to do something that he doesn’t provide us the tools to accomplish His will. Here are three ways to become prepared for change.
- Spend time in prayer: In the darkness of the night, you can pour your heart out to the Lord and He will listen.
- Praise God through it all: You might be in a dead-end job, but give the Lord glory. What? Thank Him for the job you have now. You can pay bills and meet needs. He is preparing you for something bigger so lift your hands to honor Him.
- Get ready: Expect it to happen. Prepare for the big day. A great example of this is found in I Corinthians 9: 24-27 when the scripture tells about a race. Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. This means to put yourself in a position to win the race. If you want to be a teacher, then put yourself through college and earn your degree. Put your goals into action.
Ben showed patience and endured some serious physical injuries along the way. But God has used him for His glory and has given him the desires of his heart.
It’s never too late.
What do you want to do for God’s glory?
I’d like to hear from you.
You can find my book here.
Del Duduit is an award-winning writer and author who lives in Lucasville, Ohio with his wife, Angie. They attend Rubyville Community Church. Follow his blog at delduduit.com/blog and his Twitter @delduduit. He is represented by Cyle Young of Hartline Literary Agency.
Be sure to join me live on #PJNET every Tuesday at http://PatriotJournalist.com/?meta=2