Catherine Reddick, U.S. National Soccer Team
by Doug Greengard
Playing alongside and against the best woman soccer players in the world, Catherine Reddick sometimes asks herself the question, 'why am I here?' Although she's just 21, Reddick is more than deserving of her position among the nation's elite. Arguably the best-and youngest-up and coming player in the country, her brilliant play as a defender has earned her a spot on the U.S. National Soccer Team. "Playing with these girls is an amazing experience," said Reddick. "God's put me here for a reason and I just have to keep honoring Him. That's how I have to focus. Soccer is sort of my sanctuary, my place to worship Him, so I look at it that way."
As you can imagine, playing in this highly competitive environment has its share of challenges. Reddick knows that remaining humble is, perhaps, her biggest. "He's always been working with humility with me," added Reddick, who is returning for her senior year at the University of North Carolina. "I think right now I keep trying to stay focused on being humble towards Him, because there've been so many times that there have been disappointments and I've wanted what I didn't get. He's taught me to be humble and to really keep my focus on Him."
Reddick says she is fortunate to have been raised in a Christian household. Her father is an associate pastor at a church and God's Word has been laid as the foundation in her life. Because of that, Reddick does not let her youth keep her from confidently sharing her faith in Jesus Christ-even with the veteran players on the U.S. Team. "If the conversation gets brought up, I'm the first one to jump in," said Reddick. "If someone starts talking about God, I tell them that Jesus is the only way to Heaven. Mostly, I try to let my actions do the talking. They might see my purity ring and ask my why I'm waiting until I am married. I tell them, 'that's the way I was brought up and that's the way the Lord says to do it.'"
Just like in soccer, Reddick also knows that putting forth a half-hearted effort in her relationship with Christ is not enough. When she does not spend enough time reading God's word and praying, it shows. "There's always times when you go through the motions and that's when the walk is always the hardest," she added. "And you wonder why your life isn't as good as it used to be and it's because you're not focused on God."
Reddick, you might say, continues to press on to the goal.
Doug Greengard is chaplain for the NFL's New Orleans Saints and the host/producer of the Christian Sports Minute, a radio feature airing on nearly 350 stations in North America. To receive Heroes of Faith, a book filled with 24 stories of well-known sports figures, send $10 to Greengard Family Ministries, P.O. Box 113013, Metairie, LA 70011-3013. Visit the website at www.christiansportsminute.com