Friday, April 16, 2010

Touchdown Alexander

I recently read a surprisingly good book: Touchdown Alexander, an autobiography by Shaun Alexander of the Seattle Seahawks. I won the book in a drawing at our church. Normally, I'm not a huge fan of physical books that I didn't explicitly pick, but I thought I'd give this one a go during our 30 hour bus drive down to San Felipe, Mexico.

It started out kind of slow, beginning with Alexander's childhood, but then picks up when he starts college. Half the book follows his football career and the other half follows in walk with God. My expectation when I started reading it was that it would be a ho-hum story about a guy who became a celebrity and managed to NOT lose his faith. Instead, I discovered a man who has the type of deep relationship with God I desire. Throughout his life, God is always talking to him. I'm sure God is always talking to each of us, but Alexander is really paying attention. Let me give a couple examples.

Alexander tells the story of one of his best college football games. To him, the game itself is a blur. The touchdowns and success came easily to him. Instead, he remembers coming up with his life verse right before the game: "Delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of our heart" (Psalm 37:4). Alexander realized that his success had nothing to do with him and that it was all enabled by God.

Another story was with his girlfriend, Valerie, who later became his wife. When they started dating, he had a dream warning him of being too physical. It turned out that Valerie had a similar dream. So, both of them decided to not even kiss before they got married. I mean, I'm impressed about the no kissing part, but I'm blown away by how he was able to pick up God's message.

Finally, one summer Alexander wanted to sit around and just hang out with his family since he hadn't seen them in a while. However, God had other plans in store for him. Alexander was constantly asked to got to an FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) leadership camp. Even though he didn't want to go, he finally realized that God wanted him to be there and went. That trip turned into a lifetime of service for Alexander. Today, he has his own foundation, The Shawn Alexander Foundation, with a mission to "empower young men through education, athletics, character programs, and leadership training; inspiring them to reach their full potential as the mentors and role models of the next generation." It would appear that Alexander is managing his finances pretty well.

There are stories like that all throughout the book. If you're looking for inspiration on how to live a Christian life while succeeding in your field of work, this is a great read. You won't find a broken person who fought his way back to being a moral man. Instead, he demonstrates how to consistently live for God from a little boy to adulthood. For someone, like myself, who has thankfully avoided a huge breakdown in life, this is an encouraging story.


  1. Anonymous9:38 AM

    Wow... Sounds like a good read James. I will have to read it sometime. Hope you are doing well. We are expecting Athena any day now!

  2. James, this sounds like a book I could get into. I still like the physical ones. :) It also sounds like a much better one than the ones I am reading now for school.