Anthony Mcfarland, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

by Doug Greengard

Anthony Mcfarland

When Anthony McFarland of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers plays football, he goes at it full speed ahead. The first defensive lineman selected in the 1999 National Football League draft, McFarland has lived up to his billing as a player who always puts forth his best effort. Over the past two seasons, the former Louisiana State University all-American has notched ten quarterback sacks and earned the reputation as one of the league's best up and coming players. It is with that same type of enthusiasm that the 300- pound lineman attacks the promises of God. "The way you make a car go is you put gas in it," said McFarland. "The way you make a Christian go is you put the word of God in him or her. The more and more you refuel, when you have that foundation in Christ, the more your car can go."

McFarland is sure to fill up his spiritual gas tank on a daily basis and, more importantly, allow Jesus Christ to be in the driver's seat. McFarland made the decision to live his life for the Lord when he was 13 years old. He can look back and see how his faith has grown during the journey. "I've learned from the things that I've made mistakes in and for the things I don't know," added McFarland. "I just ask the Lord to give me wisdom and knowledge. That's been the biggest thing that He has done in my life, giving me wisdom in life and in my career."

As McFarland plays his fourth NFL season, coaches, teammates and fans expect him to compete at an even higher level of performance. He expects the same from himself, both in football and in his relationship with Christ. "I always say the more you have faith, not in yourself, but in the Lord, all things are possible," said McFarland, citing the scripture from Matthew 19:26. "I truly believe that more and more each day as I mature and grow older."

In his process of growing as a player and a Christian, McFarland takes a step back and sees great potential for improvement. "For me, it's just a constant process," he said. "I tell them I'm just a work in progress every day. People often say, 'how do I get where I want to go?' They pull out a map. God's given us a map; it's the Holy Bible. When we follow that map, we'll get where we want to go."

McFarland isn't afraid to stop and ask for directions on his spiritual journey.

Doug Greengard is the host/producer of the Christian Sports Minute, a radio feature airing on 334 stations in North America. Visit the website at www.christiansportsminute.com

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