Chicago Bears wide receiver, AJ Cruz, visited Corona del Mar High School to share an essential and hard-learned lesson with the students. He described growing up in a culture quite similar to that of CdM- a culture that glorified achievement and success and demanded constant comparison. AJ explained the unceasing pressure he put on himself as he strove to prove his own value, particularly on the football field. As a sophomore at Brown University, it appeared as though all of AJ’s striving had paid off. He was at an Ivy League university and finding incredible success on the football field, and yet, AJ felt unsatisfied and unfulfilled.
AJ described coming before God in discouragement and frustration and questioning why he felt so empty when his life appeared to be full. It was in that moment, that God reminded AJ that his worth was not in his achievement, but in his sonship. From that point on, AJ approached football with an entirely new mindset. Instead of trying to prove his own worth and value every time he stepped on the field, AJ focused on how he could use his athleticism to worship and glorify God.
“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” – Colossians 3: 17