TD: Dreams in Motion is an autobiography about Terrell Davis, running back for the Denver Broncos. According to the book, Davis has faced his share of difficulties:
“His father, Pops, tortured Davis and his five brothers with his alcoholism, drug dealing, and unusual disciplinary methods. One night, while drunk and high, Pops pulled Davis and his brothers out of bed, lined them up against the bedroom wall, and shot at them with his .38 special. To punish the boys for mischief, Pops would make them strip … and whip them with an extension cord.
“Davis’s physical demon has been his migraine headaches, which started when he was seven. They have plagued him ever since, sidelining him for several high school … college (and professional) football games …
“When he was a freshman at Long Beach State, the San Diego police caught him stealing spoke rims for his … Chevy Impala. He was charged with grand theft, and imprisoned for four days.
“When Long Beach State dropped their football program after his freshman year, Davis transferred to the University of Georgia. There he faced another roadblock: Ray Goff, head coach of Georgia’s football team. During the three years Davis played for Georgia, Goff pushed him around and even forced him to practice when he had a migraine. When Goff badmouthed him to NFL scouts, Davis’s reputation and draft position were hurt. Goff further denied NFL scouts access to Davis’s game films, telling them not to waste their draft picks.”
Ironically, despite the trials in his life, Davis was chosen the 1997 Super Bowl MVP. A year later, he was selected as the 1998 Associated Press Player of the Year.
How did he achieve such success in his professional career? Consider:
. He saw Pop’s beatings as his way of toughening his sons, calling him the “most loving father I ever could have wanted.”
. He played through his blinding migraines.
. He used his four-day imprisonment as an opportunity to rethink life and reform.
. His frustrating days at Georgia built up his resistance to adversity.
That sounds a lot like Paul and James to me.
“But we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Romans 5:1, emphasis mine).
“Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience” (James 1:2, emphasis mine).
How do you view adversity in your life? As glory? As joy? It’s something to think about, isn’t it?