Rev. 2:10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer… Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.
2 Tim. 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.
For many of us that live in Seattle area, we remember Mike Holmgren as coach of the Seahawks. Even though I’m a Seahawks fan, I did not know his story until this past week. I’d love to share just a bit of his personal life story.
Mike said: “I was raised in San Fransisco in a church going, Swedish-American family. (That, of course caught my attention! Haha!) The apartment I grew up in was on the second floor above my grandfather’s bakery. Because it was a stones throw from San Francisco’s 49ers football stadium, I caught football fever at an early age.”
Mike goes on to say; “In high school I did pretty well and was chosen as an All-American quarterback. In college I got to play for UCLA, with dreams of a career in the NFL. Then in 1970, my excitement was unbounded when I was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals, only to have that dream shattered when I was cut during the preseason. My dreams were revived when the New York Jets brought me to training camp and considered me as Joe Namath’s back up, but yet once again I was let go when the went for another player.”
Mike said: “My dreams were crushed, as all that mattered to me was playing pro football, and now it would never happen. The flight home from New York was the longest five hours of my life. I felt like a failure with no direction in my life.”
Returning home Mike retreated to his bedroom in depression. He found an old Bible that had been given to him when he had become a Christian at age 11. In his pursuit of football, he forgot the Lord. But as he thumbed through his old Bible, he found a verse that he had once memorized in Sunday school.
Proverbs 3: 5,6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.”
Mike re-committed his life to Jesus Christ at that moment. Soon afterwords, he met a girl name Kathy who was just returning from a missionary trip in Zaire. They were soon married and Mike began a coaching career at his old High School alma mater.
Coach Holmgren grew in his coaching and became one of the most respected and successful coaches in America, as head coach of both the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks.
Mike was quoted: “Win or lose, I now realize what really matters. It is not a Super Bowl ring, but rather it is a crown of life that Jesus Christ is won for us through his victory on the cross.”
James 1:12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
We don’t always obtain our dreams, but if we keep our eye on the true prize, we will not be disappointed. “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”