YOUR ULTIMATE CHOICE Articles
John Harbaugh“I remember walking home thinking, ‘If I fall on the ground and die right now, I’m right with God.’”
I had always been more fascinated by church history than the Bible itself. When I arrived at Miami University (Ohio) as a freshman defensive back, two teammates invited me to a Bible study. I was intrigued by the Bible’s logic. Things started clicking about God, the universe, sin and Christ’s death on the cross. Before long, I surrendered myself to Christ.
I remember walking home thinking, “If I fall on the ground and die right now, I’m right with God.” I felt a real freedom.
My Christian faith brings me peace. It brings a certain peace that surpasses all understanding. I think if you have that, it gives you a chance to accomplish whatever it is you are supposed to accomplish.
I think it’s critical to make time for God; it’s a way to honor and praise God. You just humble yourself before God and let Him know that these things that we do are for Him.
The biggest thing I’ve learned [this year] faith-wise is that God is in the driver’s seat. That is what faith is. It’s the belief in the things that are unseen. It’s a certain trust in life and in God, our Creator.
I’m not a goals guy; a lot of people talk about goals and networking and making a plan. I’m more of a guy who says, “I’m going to work hard every day and try to become something, whatever it is I’m supposed to become, and see where that leads.” And it’s worked out pretty well
Any goal I can think of is grass to be burned up; it doesn’t have value because my imagination is limited. I want to be on God’s plan. So I let Him figure out what path it’s going to be, and that opens up a whole spectrum of possibilities that I can’t even dream of or imagine.
The irony was that when I finally gave up trying to move up in the coaching profession, that’s when God took over and things that I hadn’t even dreamed were possible … became realities.
More than anything else, I want God to stay close to me so I don’t get caught up in myself and basically embarrass myself. I used to pray for other reasons, and every now and then I’d pray for a turnover. But that’s selfish behavior. When you make yourself small and raise up the other people around you, that’s the Christian message.
I tell my guys we have so much to be thankful for – God gives us so much to be thankful for, but the main thing He gives us is each other, our relationships. After the Super Bowl win, I ran across the field to my brother. He’s my best friend along with my parents and my wife.
My wife and daughter inspire me. I see my daughter growing up every single day, and to me that is the most incredible miracle that there could ever be. We have a family atmosphere at our place. We have players and coaches bring their kids over anytime they want. That’s what inspires me. You see little kids running around, and you see your little daughter running around with those kids, and it just makes your heart bloom with joy. To me, that’s what it is all about.