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Pro Athletes Turn to God, Share What God Is Teaching Them During COVID-19 Lockdown

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A group of well-known Christian athletes has started "Huddle Up" to share some stories about what God is teaching them through the coronavirus pandemic.


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Will Maule

In a bid to encourage others to seek spiritual growth during this time of lockdown, a group of well-known Christian athletes has gathered together on a conference call to share some stories about what God is teaching them through the coronavirus pandemic.

The first-ever Huddle Up episode—organized by The Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) and hosted by NFL tight end, Benjamin Watson—involved a discussion with NFL quarterback Luke McCown, Los Angeles Rams receiver Brandin Cooks and St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright; all of them dedicated followers of Jesus Christ. 

“We’re looking for ways to respond in love, and ways to be the arms and feet of Christ,” McCown said. “It’s given us an ability to slow down and engage with our kids.”

“As Christians, we are called to be the light,” Wainwright added. “In this time, there is a lot of negativity around. This is time that we can spend encouraging others to make us look different.”

The participants also opened up about the incredibly positive impact such an unprecedented break on real-life was having on both their family lives and their relationship with the Lord.

“This is intentional. God doesn’t do anything by accident, even all the things that you read about in Job,” McCown explained. “God either ordains or allows every circumstance or situation. He ordains it, meaning that He makes it happen. Or He allows it; He gives permission for it to happen. This is just one of those things.”

“I can’t help but think that we have gotten so busy in our lives, whether it’s just going from ballgame to ballgame or ball practice to ball practice or [taking] the kids to dance recitals and this and that and the other, that there is an element that we are missing.”

McCown argued that God is “causing everything to slow down” through the virus lockdown, noting that this presents his family precious additional time “to pull into each other and engage with one another.”

For Wainwright, while he said it was “neat” to spend more with the family, he also admitted that having five kids also means that he has to keep a keen eye on the pantry supplies during homeschooling hours.

“Trying to keep a schedule on the pantry is our thing,” he laughed. “Like, no you can’t eat all day long. We need to act like we’re in school!”

“We’ve been playing basketball a lot,” he added. “Social distancing away from everyone else…but as a family, we’re barely under the 10 limit!”

Bible reading, too, has become center-stage for many of the men’s families. LA Rams receiver Brandin Cooks said that he and his wife are working through a bunch of scripture to pass the time. “I’ve been challenged to lead in a better way. Going through a bunch of different books…like [studying] Nehemiah and his leadership. It’s been awesome from that aspect because now she knows how to challenge me in a way that she didn’t know how to challenge me before,” he said. “I think this time has been very fortunate for that.”

Encouraging all believers who are stuck in their homes, Wainwright urged the faithful to embrace a slower pace of life and start being grateful for the small things. “There are just so many distractions that pull us in 12,000 different ways all the time,” he said. “This is the time that if we are going to make the most of a bad situation, we could use this to really settle down and get our priorities straight.” 

“We forget how important rest is and how important God makes the art of resting,” Cooks added. “I think during this time right now, we need to figure out a way to rest. I am not saying lounge around. But I am more so saying rest and what it means to rest in His word, praying and getting that reset button and being restored at a time like this.”

At a presser on Tuesday, NFL executive vice president Jeff Pash said the organization was planning to commence a “full regular season and full set of playoffs,” come September.

“Am I certain? I’m not certain that I’ll be here tomorrow, but I’m planning on it, and same thing, we are planning on having a full season,” Pash added.