Tough guys love Jesus, too

by Jenna VonBargen – Horizon Guest Writer

In today’s media-obsessed society, people like Lebron James and Odell Beckham Jr. are glorified for their athletic careers. But what about the things that God says we should try to be? Why are young men encouraged to be tough and stoic, playing for their own glory, rather than kind or loving or patient?

Ty Jordan: Photo by Yui Soshizaki
Ty Jordan: Photo by Yui Soshizaki

It’s no surprise that many young men around the world feel as though they need to live up to the hype of professional athletes who believe in nothing bigger than the game. If you look around campus at Hesston College, however, you’ll find some young men who work to break that mold.

Now, that’s not to say that these guys aren’t tough. They are. But they also have a gracious, humble side to them.

Ty Jordan, a sophomore and leader on the men’s basketball team is one of them. Whether his tattoos of the Lord’s prayer and Matthew 23:12 give it away, or his wristband with the verse of Philippians 4:13, or his kind attitude through which Christ’s love shines, it’s easy to tell that Jordan has something on his mind bigger than the spotlight.

“Christ is my foundation . . . I belong to God and people should know that.”

If you went to a men’s soccer game this fall, you would have seen freshman Adrian Michel and his brother, sophomore Esteban, kneeling right before the first whistle blew.

“Since we were small we were always taught that before and after every game we should always thank Him,” said Michel.

Adrian is not shy to vocalize his appreciation for his older brother’s presence in his own faith journey.

“My brother influenced my faith by keeping me calm and showing me how important it is to be grateful for what abilities we have . . . in that way you can give Him praise.”

Baseball fans may recognize Alex Perez, affectionately known as AP. Perez, a sophomore, is another example of a young man of faith.

If you watch closely enough at a ball game, you’ll notice Perez digging the handle of his bat into the dirt inside the batter’s box every time he steps up to hit. What you may not realize, however, is that what he is doing is drawing a cross.

“I’m not here on my own. God helped me to get here. I draw it so I know that He’s in the box with me.”

Jordan has his own way of showing his appreciation for God’s role in his competitive career. In the game last weekend at Brown Mackie College, you would have seen Jordan making several free throws. After the swish, students, parents, and faculty alike always comment on what he does next. “That’s so great that he does that!” students whisper back and forth. What’s so great? Ty Jordan points upward, to give the glory to God.

“That got started because I feel and I know that God has blessed me with the ability to do what I do,” he said, “I feel that with God I can do anything.”

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