Attack on America
by Doug Greengard
The recent terrorist attacks on the United States hit close to home, literally, for Kevin Mawae. The Pro-Bowl Center for the National Football League's New York Jets lives within 20 minutes of Manhattan, where the World Trade Center Buildings once stood. "I know people in my neighborhood who are missing," said Mawae, who joined some of his teammates to volunteer at the site of the New York City tragedy, known as ground zero. "My teammates have friends and neighbors in their communities who worked there. This re-assures me that football is so trivial. There are 5,000 people missing and it puts in perspective that football is just a game."
Christian athletes are being sought out by those looking for answers. Among the questions frequently asked is, "how could a loving God allow a tragedy like this to happen?" Mawae's answer: "God didn't do this. His word says that God is not a God of disorder but of peace. (1 Corinthians 14:33). Pat Day, a winner of four Eclipse Awards as horse racing's top jockey offers this response: "I don't have the perfect answer for what's happened. However, the Bible says God works all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). He will work this out for good. I know our God is the same yesterday, today and forever and He will get the glory out of this dastardly deed."
The events of September 11, 2001 have left America in stunned disbelief and promise to change our lives forever. They also serve as a reminder of how fragile we are as humans and the uncertainties of this world. "For myself, it emphasizes even more my relationship with Christ," Mawae added. "No one knows the time, the hour or the day. This hammers home that point even more. This could result in a conversion experience for thousands and thousands of people."
Along with Mawae, New Orleans Saints Defensive Back Steve Israel sees how God will use this tragedy to draw many people to Him. "As a Christian, I see this tragedy as another example of how a lot of people are going to get saved and come to Christ."
Jesus commands his believers in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19) to share the gospel with everyone. Through this horrible disaster, Christian athletes-like Mawae-will be even more aware of another tragedy: Missed opportunities to share the greatest gift of all, God's plan for eternal salvation (John 3:16), with others. "For each time I have had a chance to witness, how many times did I miss a chance to share Christ with others? We have to take a view that it is our responsibility. We will have to answer to God when the time comes."
Doug Greengard is the host/producer of the Christian Sports Minute, a radio feature airing on more than 300 radio stations in the U.S. and Canada. Visit the website, www.christiansportsminute.com.