LIVING OUT YOUR FAITH
When I met Miles and Jena Burris, Miles had just finished his second season with the Oakland Raiders. I shared with him my idea for Play4Him and he said he wanted to help. Soon, we made a promotional video with Rick Quan (Bay Area sports anchor) and rookie Quarterback Derek Carr.
Things were moving along and Miles finished his third season with the Raiders where he was second on the team with 109 tackles (Charles Woodson had 113). But despite the stats, Miles was released from the team in 2015. And that’s where the heart of this article begins.
A few days after Miles was released by the Raiders, he texted me and asked if he could come over. He came by and we spent some time catching up and, as he left, he handed me an envelope. I knew it was a donation but how could I accept a donation from someone who just lost his job? (Note: NFL contracts are not 100% guaranteed) Miles assured me that he and Jena had prayed about it and wanted me to accept it. So I put the envelope down and walked Miles to his house (a few blocks away). The whole time we walked, Miles encouraged me and told me that he and Jena knew I was doing the right thing and that they knew my intentions were good and they wanted to support Play4Him. Honestly, I should have been the one encouraging him. Miles had just lost his job and was injured and had no guarantee that he would ever play in the NFL again. And he was encouraging me?
I walked home feeling unworthy of such encouragement but also inspired and uplifted knowing God had blessed me with such supportive friends. And then I got home and opened the envelope to find a very generous donation check and a letter encouraging me more. I called Miles and told him there was no way I could accept this amount but he again assured me that he and Jena wanted me to have it. I thanked him and then thanked God for allowing it to happen.
When I went to the bank to deposit the check, I asked for the balance.
The amount that was in there before the deposit?
One dollar and thirty seven cents.
At that moment, I heard God say to me, “I got your back. As long as I want you to share these videos, I will provide the funds and athletes. When I don’t, then it’s over. In the mean time, don’t worry.”
Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as “confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
My faith is not in myself. My faith is not in Play4Him. My faith is not in those around me.
My faith is in Someone greater.
My faith is only in Jesus who created all things and is in control of all things.
Because of Him, I stepped out in faith and started a non-profit with no skills, no funds and no idea what I was getting myself into.
Because of Him, Miles and Jena were able to see beyond their current situation (in 2015) and know that God had their back as well.
And that’s why they wanted to give back some of what God had provided for them.
Even with no guarantee that Miles would ever play in the NFL again.
And he hasn’t.
Sure, he had a few tryouts but God had other plans for him.
These days, Miles can be found on a different football field. Playing linebacker for Clemson University in the Disney film Safety. You should check it out. If you do, you will not only see a great movie but now you’ll also know the back story of one of the stars.
Thank you Miles and Jena. Thank you for your friendship, your love and your support.
But most of all, thank you for living out your faith.