My roommate Katie and I were talking last night about the upcoming USC Gamecocks football season, and the conversation turned to what happens to college football players after they graduate. Some of them are drafted to the NFL, but what about the ones who aren’t? They drop off the face of the earth. Some of them probably become high school football coaches, some of them do some other sort of sports-related career, but how seriously do they think about those options, when a draft is looming in their future? In what do they put their worth?
In college football, at least here in the SEC, football players are campus celebrities. We know their names, and some of us know their faces. We can pick out the football players on campus because they’re wearing head-to-toe Under Armour gear. We praise them like royalty when they do well, and scorn them like the dust of the earth when they screw up. Thousands of people scream the players’ names each game, and more than those thousands know their names and watch the games via ESPN or some other sports network.
But what happens when that’s over?
For a D1 football player, their life is built on performance: perform well in high school to get a college scholarship. Perform well at a D1 university to go pro. But what if that’s where it ends? No going pro, so now what? Where are these guys putting their worth? If it’s in football, reality might smack them in the face when their NFL dreams don’t come true.
I can’t say with any validity where these guys are putting their worth, only that I hope it’s not just in a football career. I can, however, say for certain where we should be putting our eternal worth.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” — Matthew 6:19-21.
It’s fine to place value on things that you love: football, friends, family, school, jobs, whatever. But don’t place your worth in those things; don’t place your worth in what you can do or what you have, because those things fade all too quickly. Like the football player whose career is over at 22, our lives are full of things that don’t last. We should set our hearts and minds on things eternal.