Jason Hanson

Jason Hanson
Kicker

I grew up in a Christian family but it was in those early teen years that I began to realize that this God of the Bible wanted a relationship with me. Until then I was sitting on the sidelines going through life, not with any real purpose or thought of what I was living for. It was about that time when I said, “Jesus I want to know You, I think You’re true.” My Christian adventure started then.

I remember the process of God working on me and taking the faith of my parents in church and turning it into a faith that was real and personal. You begin to think differently and you begin to become aware of God’s presence and His work in your life, and you begin to choose and live life differently.

Knowing that Jesus Christ died to pay for my sins bring peace. I have peace because I’m forgiven and the God of the universe is in control of my life. Peace is something totally different than the excitement of making a game-winning field goal. There’s a rush of adrenaline then, but it’s temporary, because at some point, I’ll mess up and it’s all gone. Whereas what I’m promised in the Bible through Jesus Christ is peace that can’t be taken away. It is nothing that I did, it is because of God.

There have been worries, anxieties, plenty of mess-ups and doubts. What I do is result-oriented and is out there for everyone to see. You’re always being compared to everyone else at your position. Our job is so fickle. Kickers know how temporary sports and fame and wins are. Doing good or bad is just two inches outside the post or inside the post for us. God uses that to say, “Hey, this seems like the life but it isn’t, is it?” And that’s where I find out that God who I’m praying to is real, He answers me. I can’t trust myself, but I definitely trust God who I’ve turned my life over to. God calls me His own and He has a plan for me.

I do pray for the courage to do my job the best I can and to not be overcome with anxiety, the fears of failure and all those things I think most people in sports have. I simply know that I want to go out there and do my best. I’ve asked God to help me. He’s not my lucky rabbit’s foot, but I do bring Him into the games so that when I play, I will remember to play to bring glory to God, and trust Him with whatever happens.

Going through the day I have a purpose: in sports and in life, in the ups and downs, I don’t despair about not knowing what happens to me next or why. I can only focus on right now and do my best in this game or this practice or this season. When it comes to what defines me at the end of the day, I know that as a Christian, the overall story of my life is not just a performance I do on the field. He made me to be so much more than a field goal kicker.