Athlete, only God can meet our deepest wants


Athlete, only God can meet our deepest wants

Tom Petersburg

John 10:10 (NASB)

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

I was waiting in the locker room for a player to finish up a meeting so we could grab a cup of coffee together. One of his NFL teammates seated a couple of lockers away, turned to me and said, “I have a beautiful wife and wonderful kids, a big house, nice cars, a great contract and all the playing time I want. Why am I so miserable?”

He was one of the most popular, respected athletes in town. Most young men would give anything to experience his success. He had come to an important discovery — his earthly pursuits failed to satisfy his desire for personal fulfillment.

C.S. Lewis, British writer and theologian, said it best: “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”

Nothing in this world was ever meant to satisfy us. The soul-level satisfaction we yearn for is only found in a relationship with God through the person of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, we spend much of life trying to fulfill those wants with deceptive substitutes – money, pleasure, sex, possessions and positions.

We have to ask ourselves why we settle so easily for substitutes? Because we can chase them and even gain some on our own terms and in our own power. Human nature has an inbuilt aversion to trusting God.

In my locker room conversation that day, I directed this disillusioned athlete to the Old Testament Book of Ecclesiastes. It was written by the wisest man of the day, Solomon. 

Ecclesiastes is Solomon’s testimony of searching for meaning or purpose in these substitutes. Having attained them, he concluded that each of his pursuits was vanity, empty, apart from knowing God.

Tom Petersburg,


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