Doesn’t matter how hard one tries to bend it, the bad boy drives off into the sunset with the girl and the nice guy smiles and waves, dreaming about the day when she wakes up and finds that what she’s looking for has been there the whole time.
My mom got an email the other day that she forwarded me.
It was about Luke.
Being a recently graduated student-athlete, I’m very familiar with the temptations that swallow people whole, the temporary pleasures that become the downfall of relationships, and the obsession with self-image that manipulates the soul.
People are so lost in today’s day and age.
And someone needs to shake them.
It’s time to stop sugarcoating things. It’s time to stop acquiescing to the pressures of the outside world.
It’s time to take off the blinders.
I am very strong in my faith. It’s the driving force to every decision I make. It doesn’t mean every decision I make is correct. I’m human, and we all screw up.
But being human doesn’t make certain things acceptable. Being human doesn’t mean we can make whatever decisions we want as a hormonal young adult, just to later ask for forgiveness when the time is right for us.
It’s not about you. Life on earth is not about you.
At Oklahoma and at UCLA I was blessed with a tight knit group of Christian friends.
In Oklahoma I specifically remember a mom coming up to one of my friends and me at lunch. She told us how much it meant to her to see a couple of athletes praying before their meal.
As small as it might seem to us, an Oklahoma football player and a women’s basketball player praying together before they dove into their Fazoli’s Fettuccini Alfredo touched a mother, father, and their 3 little boys.
Nothing flashy. Nothing to attract attention. Just blessing some food. It’s what we always did.
There is no greater opportunity to show people who you are than in college. It doesn’t matter if you’re an athlete. It doesn’t matter who you are. We are all made equal in God's image.
But people in the spotlight have a target on their backs. They are watched by many more eyes. They are faces of programs. They are idols of young and of old. They are swimming in pressure.
Who cares if you are the President of the United States, or the janitor at East High?
Remember your purpose.
It's not impossible.
I think about my family.
I think about my mom.
She’s one of the most humble women I know. She got into Vanderbilt the hard way (no offense dad & Luke), she has made countless sacrifices for our family, she has given my brothers and I a childhood that we will never forget, and she’s just flat-out pretty.
But my favorite part?
She loves the Lord with all of her heart.
Beth Moore workbooks are scattered throughout the house. She’s always leading some sort of Bible study. You wouldn’t know because she would never tell you, unless she’s inviting you, but one would know through the interactions one has with her.
She lights up a room. God is living through that woman.
Jesus drank wine, too.
I think about my dad.
He loves through action.
He selflessly raised all three of us kids after his professional basketball career, humbly taking on the role of Mr. Mom.
He taught me obedience, discipline, and how to shoot the 3 ball.
But my favorite part about dad?
He is one of the most devout men I know. He’s whom I pray to God about every night. Laying overwhelmed with gratitude, I can't help but thank Him for a father who raised me in the Catholic Church.
I think about John.
He texts Luke & I all the time in the sibling group chat-- constantly inundating us with stories, articles, or religious readings that he thinks would help us.
He’s an incredible older brother. He’s always learning, always wanting to grow in his faith and in our relationships with each other.
I think about Luke.
He loves wholeheartedly and with grace. He has that child-like faith that would never do anything malicious to hurt another soul. All he ever wants to do is help.
He knows why he was put here on this earth. He knows it’s his duty to serve. It doesn’t matter if you’re where you want to be or not. If you’re living by giving, chances are you’ll find joy in every opportunity that comes your way.
Following the rules may not look as appealing in the media, on Instagram, or at your high school prom, but I’m telling you—pleasure is temporary.
Don’t fall into the trap. Trust your gut. Know that there’s something else out there, someone else out there who has your back.
So don’t turn your back on Him.
Don’t give up.
There are others who are waiting til marriage, who go to church every Sunday, who say their bedtime prayers.
It’s so fun, guys. It’s fun living for a purpose. I can’t imagine living my life without one. I feel loved every day, I never feel alone, I see joy in every opportunity, and I know there’s more life after this one.
God gave us eyes to see.
Look around you.
Nice guys don’t finish last.
Nice guys finish first.