>> by Roman Gabriel Biblical Recorder columnist
Editor’s Note: The following was featured in the July 19 edition of the Biblical Recorder, the state paper for North Carolina Baptists.
The Seattle Seahawks drafted Heath Evans in the third round of the 2001 National Football League (NFL) Draft. He previously played football at Auburn University, was a fullback for 10 years with the Miami Dolphins and then the New England Patriots. But it was with the New Orleans Saints where he won Super Bowl XLIV in Miami over the Indianapolis Colts. Today Evans is an NFL analyst for Fox and the NFL Network.
I caught up with him in New York and we talked about life after football, a new career covering the NFL and how this Super Bowl champion continues his successful life as a strong Christian example today.
Q: As a former football player and Super Bowl champion, tell us about the opportunities you get to share your faith.
A: As a player, it was different. When you see the same reporters every day for eight months out of the year, you form relationships with them and they begin writing articles based on how they see you. I’ve always believed that your actions speak way louder than your words. We live in a culture today where we are quick to thank God, but sometimes, our actions and our lives don’t live up to everything God says we are to look like. For me, it has always been about saying the right things by His power and the Holy Spirit’s source of strength.
Q: Why is it important for youth or anyone today to learn to set goals in life?
A: I used to have my goals written all over my bedroom walls and plastered on my lockers. They are constant reminders of where you’re going and what you’re doing. It’s so easy to forget your goals. I’ve always told my kids, “People don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan!” Set a plan of action and keep it before you, so you’re constantly reminded of what your purposes and goals are in life.
Q: As Christians and as athletes we hear about using our platform for God effectively, how well do you feel you have accomplished that goal?
A: I think, post-retirement, the Lord really allowed me to walk through some things, so that I have a much greater understanding of His providence and sovereignty. One of my favorite verses is John 5:44: “How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?” When I sit down each day to write in my journal, I tell Him that this day is His and for Him to use me as He sees fit—such as having a conversation with someone in the green room at Fox or the NFL Network.
Q: That’s really interesting what you’re saying. It’s much more simple when we turn it all over to God, isn’t it?
A: God says that our hearts are evil, so the best thing we can offer Him is dirty and filthy rags. When you begin looking at the humility of Christianity, the only time that God can use us is when we realize that we have nothing to offer. We are to take the limelight we’ve been given to give God glory. He has called us to be faithful. When He gives us opportunities to open up our mouths about His love and what He’s done, then His Spirit will reign true and bring the right words to heart and mind. He’ll use us to bring people’s hearts to His kingdom.