Russell Wilson plays quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks NFL team. He led his team to this year’s Super Bowl. He was one play away from consecutive championships. On the one yard line with 20 seconds to go, Wilson threw a pass on a slant route that was intended for teammate Doug Baldwin. Down 28-24, the pass reception would have won the game. New England Patriot Malcolm Butler jumped the route, intercepted the pass, and sealed the game.
In typical fashion, Wilson accepted responsibility for the play: “I put the blame on me – I’m the one who threw it. It’s something you learn from, it’s something you grow from.”
In many ways, Russell Wilson isn’t typical. In a game where huge egos are on full display, he goes about his business with higher priorities than jaw-dropping stats or staggering contracts. When he was drafted by the Seahawks with the 12th pick in the third round in 2012, few people believed that he would be the success he has proved to be. He was too small; he didn’t possess an NFL arm. He just won.
If you followed him into the locker room before a game, you would notice his earphones. Most players listen to music before games. But he is listening to contemporary Christian music. Then you will see him bow by his locker to pray. “I’m not a hyped person. I try to stay relaxed,” he says. During the game, you can hear him sing softly one of his favorite Gospel songs in the heat of the contest.
Wilson makes it clear when interviewed that his life isn’t centered on the fame and glory of success in the NFL; his life is focused on his relationship with Jesus Christ. “It’s like I put on the whole armor of God so I can take God everywhere I go – mentally, physically, and spiritually.”
His life verse comes from John 3:30: “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
With all his success, Russell Wilson has a firm handle on what matters most. “Win or lose, it’s about Him for me. It doesn’t matter the ups and downs, the good and the bad, just keep Him first.”
You and I don’t have to perform on a stage with millions watching. But the only Audience that matters is watching. He deserves our best even as He deserves our trust and obedience. He deserves the glory.
Easter people, serve Him this week. Gather with your brothers and sisters to study His Word and worship this Lord’s Day.