Written 9/25/2010 (I wrote this 2 years ago after I left Purdue.)
Sometimes in life we are forced to make very difficult decisions. The most difficult
decisions are the ones that seek to answer such questions as; what should I do
with my life, what is my calling? When I was 20 years old I was in a situation
where I had to make one of these life changing decisions. I had just finished
my freshman year wrestling at Purdue University. I had been wrestling my whole
life and the sport had pretty much dominated my life since I was a child. For
as long as I can remember I had dreamt of being a NCAA national champion. After
winning the starting spot on a Big 10 team my freshman year I was doing
everything in my power to chase my dream. Unfortunately, this pursuit was not
making me happy. I found myself questioning a lifetime of work. I found was
only wrestling because I thought it was what everyone else wanted me to do. I
was wrestling because it was all I knew. But was this what I really wanted?
When I took an honest look at myself and thought about what I really wanted to do
with my life, wrestling wasn’t it. My calling was to be an MMA fighter. My
brother was an MMA fighter and I had trained with him a lot and gone to all of
his fights. I loved to train MMA, I loved the MMA shows, and I loved everything
that had to do with MMA. I just couldn’t get enough of MMA. I found myself
waiting for my college wrestling career to be over so I could begin my MMA
career. If I was going to be truly happy I knew I had to pursue my calling and I
needed to pursue it now! But could I really abandon a lifetime of work in
wrestling and the dreams stemming from my childhood of being an NCAA champion?
Not to mention the sacrifice of a scholarship to one of the most prestigious
universities in the country. Needless to say, this was a difficult decision to
Important decisions are never easy but then again nothing worth doing is easy. If a person
truly wants to be happy they must pursue their calling. God calls each of us to
do something special with our lives. We have the choice to listen to God’s call and pursue
a life of happiness, or to disobey and live a life of struggle and
disappointment. I was living the later.
The first step in decision making is to identify what God is calling you to do.
God’s calling for you is something that makes you happy because true joy comes
from God. It is something that you love, because God is love. It is something
that you will stay up all night thinking about, then wake up in the morning and
get right back after it. Figuring out what your calling is can be difficult
enough but once you find your calling you must then find the courage to pursue
The decision to pursue your calling is a difficult one. When you make this decision
great sacrifices will almost certainly have to be made. While these sacrifices
are very difficult to make they will make any accomplishment you have in the
pursuit of your calling worth so much more. Without sacrifice achievement is
meaningless. So give these sacrifices willingly. Give them to God. There will
be a great risk involved. The risk of failing is what most people fear most,
but there is no such thing as failure unless you quit. There is such thing as
shortcomings, but shortcomings lead to perseverance, perseverance to character,
and character to hope for a better tomorrow. Have faith in God and give all of
your doubts up to Him. This will give you the strength to pursue your calling
with the power of God on your side. If God is for us then who can stand against
The next step is to do it! Don’t do it for others, and don’t do it for yourself, but
do it for God. No matter what it is that you choose to do, make your ultimate
goal to glorify God. Represent Him in whatever you do. God calls each of us to
do something special with our lives. Whatever God calls you to do, be the best
at it. Go after it with everything you have and be the best you possibly can be.
Live out your calling loudly and boldly. Others will notice your success and
they will see you give all the credit to God and they will want what you have.
Be a warrior for Christ, others will notice and join the fight.
After some time of deep thought, mental struggle, and a brutally honest assessment of
my own life I decided to pursue my calling. I decided to pursue a career in
MMA. I was forced to make huge
sacrifices and these sacrifices were very difficult to make. When I broke the
news about the new direction of my life my teammates and family they were
shocked. I knew I had to attack my calling with everything I had if I wanted to
be happy. The day after I told my coaches I was done wrestling I was in the gym
Here I sit a year and a half later a professional MMA fighter. I am 11-0 (pro/am).
I give all the credit for my success to God. He is the one who led me down
this path. I gain the strength to train hard and fight well from Him. I do not fear losing because I know
that a loss will only lead to perseverance, perseverance to character, and
character to hope. I don’t fight for myself or for others. I fight to glorify
God. My goal is to be the best fighter in the world and to represent God well
inside the cage. My hope is to lead others to Christ though my success in this
sport. I draw attention to myself through my performances and thus draw
attention to the power of God. I seek to show people a glimpse of Christ though
the way I fight, the way I act, and the way I carry myself. I live everyday for
Christ and do what I can to spread his good name though that which He has called
me to do.