When I was a young man, there was a show on TV called Beyond The
The show took a behind-the-scenes look at the lives of sports stars. Most of what we see on the screen differs from real life for these stars.
Our media and culture place sports stars, movie stars, and entertainers as people to emulate.
Now, this is a good and bad situation. Some people in these professions are worthy of emulation. Others, not so much.
Just because a person is a celebrity does not mean they are a role model, can speak for others, or influence politics because of their name only.
I’ve met many former professional athletes or famous people due to my work in track and field, the world Paralympic movement, and my business, government, and Church life.
The people I respect most are out making sports, entertainment, movies, and meaningful missions in their personal lives that change the culture for the better.
For example, I know a millionaire professional athlete who lost everything because he cheated on his wife due to his own doing and the lifestyle that sometimes went along with professional sports when he was a young man.
He shared his story very openly with me one day.
He deeply regretted what he had done after the fact, but the damage was done. After reawaking his faith, he committed to helping young men in professional sports stay the course in their marriages and families.
This former professional star dedicated his life to helping younger players avoid the traps and pitfalls he fell into.
I’ve known others in the sports and entertainment world who never understand what a powerful force they can be for others if they would apply the same skills they used to become a star to help others live a better and more Godly life.
Beyond the Glory is a good title for a show. Looking under the hood when the crowd is not cheering is a more significant dose of reality. Everyday life is real life for the most part.
It's in the moments of prayer and reflection and sometimes crisis when we make decisions to use our stories and checkered pasts for good that we find our true selves.
Use your past, whether it is good or bad, to help others now.
We all need mercy and grace, and there is still time to do the right thing.
Photo Credit: Tim Mossholder