Our grandson was puzzled by the smile of Carsen Wentz (Philadelphia Eagles sidelined QB) in the last few minutes of the playoff game (last Sunday, January 6, 2019) between the Eagles and the Chicago Bears. The Eagles were in the lead 16 to 15 over the Bears after scoring a touchdown and missing a two-point pass conversion. With only 56 minutes left in the game, the Bears appeared they would win the game by making a 29-yard field goal. Prior to the presumed winning FG, the television camera spanned the Eagles sideline. Interestingly, Carsen Wentz was smiling from ear-to-ear, as if his team had already won the game. I thought to myself, “Doesn’t he know they are about to lose the game?”
I noticed Wentz smiling earlier in the game and mentioned this to my husband. Jeff and I enjoy watching football together. Who knew! Jeff explained to me that Wentz was injured in back-to-back seasons, with Nick Foles, the Eagle’s backup QB stepping in to fill his position. The Eagles won last year’s Super Bowl with Foles as their backup quarterback. (Eagles 41 – 33 victory over New England Patriots, Super Bowl LII).
Back to the playoff game with the Bears. After learning of the disappointing seasons for Carsen Wentz, I became even more intrigued about his persona on the sideline. I was curious, too, like our grandson, with his ginormous smile during the last few minutes of the game. The Eagles went on to win the game after the Bears kicker missed the potential winning field goal.
After the game, I did some research on Carsen Wentz. I learned that he is a devoted follower of Jesus Christ and shares his faith publicly on and off the field. I thought to myself, “Well, that it explains his exuberant smile!” Like other Christian athletes, Carsen Wentz has realized there’s more to life than playing and winning football games. He’s always on a winning team with Jesus as his coach.
I’m so thankful there are faithful Christian role models in the sports arena that my grandson and other children can look up to. (See note below.)
To learn more about Carsen Wentz’s personal testimony of faith, which includes his devastating leg injury during the 2017 football season, check out this video:
Did I mention that my grandson and I were watching the Eagles and Bears game at different locations and hadn’t talked about the game until his mother and I chatted a few days later? We both smiled when I learned that Jack had noticed Carsen Wentz’s smile during the closing minutes of the game as well.
Special Note: Nick Foles is also a devoted follower of Jesus. In fact, the Eagles team gives God the glory whenever they have an opportunity. Highlights from last year’s Super Bowl VII Victory:
Various successes come our way, some offering momentary fulfillment and joy. I am grateful for these. For me, the greatest success in life is to achieve the purpose for which God has called me to. The purpose that drives me is the passion of my heart and soul: To intentionally pass down my faith in Christ to my children and grandchildren.
Most recently, my four-year-old granddaughter paid me the greatest compliment I could ever receive. “Nana, I’m making this bracelet for you because you love Jesus so much!”
“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).
Quote from George Washington Carver: “The secret of my success? It is simple. It is found in the Bible.”
True successes come with much prayer and perseverance.
View From the Summit (Excerpt from Turning Point, Dr. David Jeremiah, July 13, 2017)
In her book Reach for the Summit, former Tennessee women’s head basketball coach Pat Summitt wrote, “There are different kinds of success. There is fame and fortune, which…is a pretty flimsy, short-lived kind of success. Then there is the more gratifying kind of success that comes from doing something you love, and doing it well. Still another kind of success results from committing to one person and raising a child with them. Yet another is finding a sustained faith in your church. But notice something about all the various forms of success. They are open-ended. They aren’t tasks that you finish. Success is a project that’s always under construction.”1 God wants to give us success as He defines it—the fulfilling of His perfect will for our lives. That’s a lifelong process that unfolds as we follow Him daily.
Somehow, you have to make a commitment to get better every day, no matter how successful you were the day before. Pat Summitt 1Pat Summit, Reach for the Summit (NY: Broadway Books, 1998), chapter 12.
Pat Summitt (American women’s college basketball head coach accrued 1,098 career wins, the most in NCAA basketball history. She served as the head coach of the University of Tennessee Lady Vols basketball team from 1974 to 2012). Pat lived out “much prayer and perseverance” on and off the court. Pat was diagnosed with the early onset of Alzheimer’s at 59. She passed away at 64, June 2016.
Excerpt from CP (Christian Post):
Quote from Pat Summitt’s son, Tyler, about his mother: “For 64 years, my mother first built her life upon a strong relationship with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.” Summitt wrote in the statement. “Her foundation was also built upon love of her family and of her players, and love of the fundamentals of hard work which reflected her philosophy that ‘you win in life with people.'”
The Faith of Basketball Legend Pat Summitt: God Gave Me ‘Certain Work to Do’
To read more about Pat Summitt’s life go to the link below:
Over the past several years, I've blogged about my greatest passion--intentionally passing my faith in Christ to the next generation, beginning with my family.
I've been married to Jeff forever! We love spending time with our three children, six grandchildren, two son-in-laws, and our dog, Pepper.
Jeff and I gratefully serve as Pastor and wife at St. Paul's Church of the Nazarene, Kansas City, MO; where people love God and each other.
Holding His Hand, my newest blog (2016) is dedicated to my mom, Audrey Lewis, who learned to trust in Jesus during her battle with cancer.