Danny Wuerffel: There's More to Life
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In 1996, Danny Wuerffel received the highest honor bestowed on any college football player -- The Heisman Trophy. The star quarterback already owned one of the most impressive college resumes in the country. At the University of South Florida, Wuerffel had broken school records for yardage and scoring totals. He won numerous awards, honors, and accolades, and was named Academic All-American Player of the Year, All Southeastern Conference first team and Offensive Player of the Year.
In 1997, Wuerffel was drafted by the New Orleans Saints. He had made it to the big-time, the NFL. But in spite of his outstanding achievements and the national attention he received as a result, Wuerffel seemed unfazed by his success. "You know, the world just pounds the message into your brain that if you make enough money and if you're successful in your field, that's all you need. But you can ask just about anybody who's been successful--somehow there always seems to be a longing for something more. I believe we were made to find fulfillment in our relationship with God," he explains. "When we look for it in other places, we come up empty."
Wuerffel got a head start in his search. "I was blessed to grow up in a Christian home. My father is a chaplain in the airforce and my mother has always been active in the church. From the time I was very little, I didn't question God's existence, because we talked to Him every time we ate a meal. He was a very real part of our lives. So as I grew up and went into high school and then college, the question was not 'Does God exist?', but 'To what extent?' What part does He play in my life? What does He want from me? What is my relationship with Him supposed to be like? Those were the questions I wrestled with." In college, out on his own for the first time, Danny began to take a good hard look at his faith. He started studying the Bible for himself and searching for answers to his questions. "From all different angles, God was really drawing me to himself and saying, 'This is the time to get serious!'" Wuerffel recalls. "The biggest change was my understanding of myself in relationship to God. The more I understood how awesome God is, the more I realized how wretched I was. It's a humbling experience to realize what your own nature is, to look at yourself and see selfishness and pride and the attitude that you can just do your own thing. Sometimes it was at subtle levels. Other people might not have noticed it, but I could see it."
While everyone around him was impressed with his talent and potential, Danny was coming to grips with his need for a Savior. He realized the truth of the scriptures that read, "All have sinned and fallen short of God's glory" and that the "wages of sin is death". (Romans 3:23, 6:23)
Danny knew he needed a Savior, and that God had provided one: "God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
He decided to surrender his life completely to Jesus Christ. Wuerffel's decision changed his life forever. It brought him joy and peace and fulfillment. It put the challenges of life into perspective, and shaped his goals and dreams for the future. Now, no matter what happens in his career -- whether he wins the Superbowl or sits on the bench -- he's determined to live his life to bring honor to God.
"There's a verse in Proverbs 3:5-6 that says 'Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.' My desire is to acknowledge Him in all my ways -- in my marriage, in my family, in football-- in whatever I'm doing!"
Danny discovered that true fulfillment can only come from being in right relationship to God. You can experience that same sense of fulfillment by praying something like this: Dear God, I realize that I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins. Please forgive my sins and help me to honor you with my life. In Jesus' name, Amen.
© 2002 Good News Publishers. Used by permission.