USA (MNN) — While college football in the United States ended in January, many colleges and universities are preparing for the 2011 season in the fall. Spring football practice opened this week. And at least one football player knows what his focus will be this year — Christ.
Starting quarterback for Michigan State University Kirk Cousins was on the campus of Cornerstone University to talk about his faith and football. Cousins believes he knows why God has given him this opportunity: "to use that platform to glorify Him and to point back to Him, in a world where a lot of people really aren't following Jesus and aren't choosing to honor Him above all else. In a culture where it's really about sports, God can take something that's broken and use it to point back to Him."
According to Cousins, God has given him a great opportunity to serve Him. "There's not many things where 75,000 people come and watch you, and they boo and cheer you depending on how you do. So there are pressures. But that only causes me to stay even closer to the Lord and that much closer in my faith walk."
Cousins says it isn't easy to be a Christian surrounded by the hype of football. That's why "it's very, very important to surround yourself with other believers — not to huddle only with believers — obviously you need to be light in darkness, but to make sure you're being sharpened daily by people who are walking with the Lord."
How does he do that? "I've done it with Athletes In Action, a ministry of Campus Crusade [For Christ], which has done a great job working with athletes to develop us. [I] spend a lot of time with other teammates who are Christians and have good friends on campus at Michigan State who are Christians who are sharpening me and encouraging me to stay close to the Lord."
Cousins is challenging young athletes to honor God in everything they do and develop relationship where they can share their faith. The end goal is to see people turn to Christ. "Sometimes things happen over night, but a lot of times they don't. It takes time and effort over a long period of time. When you choose to honor God above all else and try to make a difference in guys' lives, it doesn't return void."
Pray for Cousins and other Christian athletes that they'll have a platform not only to honor God, but to share their faith and lead people to Christ.
Michigan State's Green-White Spring Scrimmage will be Saturday April 30 at 1:30 on the Big Ten Network.