Cody Custer, Professional Bull Rider
by Doug Greengard
Life is one wild, unpredictable ride after another for Cody Custer. A professional bull rider by trade, the Wickenburg, Arizona resident also sees the similarities between his profession and his personal life.
The 1992 World Bull Riding Champion keeps the everyday ups and downs-including when he is thrown from the back of a wild bull-in perspective through his walk with God. Custer accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of his life in 1984, but fully committed to a relationship with Him four years later. While Custer is always looking for the perfect ride, he realizes God is not searching for perfect people. "God knew we couldn't be perfect," said Custer. "If any of us could have been, He wouldn't have needed to send Jesus to die for us."
The veteran bull rider recalled an occasion where he was not glorifying God through his actions. "If I catch myself doing things that aren't Christian-like things I don't think God would be proud of I just ask for forgiveness and get back into the word of God." Custer said.
After nearly two decades on the pro bull riding circuit, Custer has become a well-known name in the sport. He's been involved as both a Christian and non-Christian, so he knows what ministers to his fellow professionals?and what doesn't. "All these guys believe in God and I was the same way until I met Jesus," he added. "The Bible says it's His spirit that draws a man to him, so what I try to do is just be available."
Custer carries tracts with him so he can share God's plan for salvation with anyone he thinks is approachable. His favorite scripture is John 3:17, which says: 'God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.'
It would be impossible to spend this long in a sport like bull riding without suffering his share of spills and serious injuries. Custer has even seen fellow competitors killed in bull riding accidents. But through it all, he continues to compete. "I pray before I get on and I pray over every bull, bringing it all into submission and giving it to God," Custer said.
"It's a dangerous sport and the possibility of injury or death is there all the time, but if that's at the forefront of my thoughts I need to go somewhere else and do something else."
That's not an option for Custer. He'll continue going along for the ride, trusting God all the way.
Doug Greengard is the host/producer of the Christian Sports Minute, airing on nearly 350 radio stations nationwide. To get a copy of Heroes of Faith, a book containing 24 stories about well-known sports figures, send a donation of $10 to Greengard Family Ministries, P.O. Box 113013, Metairie, LA 70011-3013 or visit www.christiansportsminute.com.