athletics

Redemption: A Rebellious Spirit, a Praying Mother, and the Unlikely Path to Olympic Gold

Bryan Clay started off life as many children did- in a happy home.  And then the all-too-common-unthinkable happened:  his parents divorced.  His childish anger & rage, manifesting itself as frequent violence, is all too predictable, despite his Christian mother who constantly promises him that he will do great things as a leader.  A counselor saw Bryan's athletic potential and warned his mom that his only chance of avoiding jail was to get him into organized sports.  Throughout high school, Bryan did well in track, all the while barely passing his classes, partying, and having numerous religious experiences at summer camp.  His mother, however, was praying for him-- she seems to be a Pentecostal of some type-- completely confident that he would one day win the Olympics and do great things.  Against every fleshly influence, Bryan ended up at a Christian university under Believing coaches.  He continues his lifestyle of partying, barely scraping by in classes, and saving just enough reserve to continue to improve athletically.  However, he meets a girl.  And falls for her, hard.  When God gets ahold of her, leading her to let go of him, Bryan comes unglued.  This is one of the main catalysts for his own conversion-- a complete surrender to Christ and a transformation of his approach to track.  No longer is it his one hope for popularity and a good time; now it's a way to discipline himself to be a man of God.  It becomes nothing short of worship.

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