Fowler. I have been very fortunate to watch so many young men develop and grow as players, and more
importantly, as individuals. It has truly been a gratifying experience that has encouraged and inspired me
to strive to become a better person and to hold myself to a higher standard.
As I have learned from Catholic author and speaker, Matthew Kelly, there are four aspects of the human
person. These enable us to become the best version of ourselves and to live a life of happiness: physical,
emotional, spiritual, and intellectual. While I certainly could use work in all four of these categories, it was
my faith, above all, that I felt I really needed to improve upon.
It was at this time that I made the decision to make a more genuine and conscious effort in strengthening
my faith and improving my relationship with God. In the process of doing so, I would often find myself
wondering if I was making the right decisions in effectively moving forward with this promise. I questioned
whether or not I was saying the right prayers, reading the right spiritual literature, and attending the right
amount of masses. All these things, at the time, I believed held a great deal of influence on my ability to
obtain the faith I so desired.
Three weeks ago I had the privilege of attending the “Living Every Day with Passion & Purpose”
conference with Matthew Kelly at the DeltaPlex Arena in Grand Rapids. Matthew shared many simple yet
profound stories and statements that night, but among the many there was one that really resonated with
me. He said, “If you read the Bible you’ll notice a common phrase being used -- ‘God said’. God said to
Abraham. God said to Moses. God said to Noah. God said.” God is always speaking to us; it’s just a
matter of whether or not we are listening.
I share this story about the experience I had at the “Living Every Day with Passion & Purpose” conference
because it was this very concept that enabled me to take that next step in strengthening my faith. It
allowed me to stop asking God and to simply start listening to Him. It helped me understand that God
doesn’t necessarily care what prayer we say or how we say it, or perhaps what spiritual book we decide
to read. He just asks that we make ourselves available to him. It was when I was able to understand and
adopt this perception that I really began to see God working in my life.
Since then, I have seen God speak to me in so many different ways on so many different levels. It has
really helped me to see each situation for what it is, and more importantly, to appreciate it. One example
of God speaking to me took place just a few months back when a former player of mine texted me and
asked if I would be interested in chaperoning this year’s Steubenville retreat. It was an interesting
request, as I had never attended the retreat myself, but here I was being asked to chaperone.
This retreat was something I considered attending as a student. Despite the fact I hadn’t, I saw it as a
tremendous opportunity to step out of my comfort zone. I would be able to help not only those I have
coached, but all the young people attending this year’s conference to grow and develop in their faith. It’s
another example of how my players have encouraged and inspired me to become a better person and to
hold myself to a higher standard. And while I can’t say for certain what it is I expect from this conference
having never been there, if history tells us anything, when we make ourselves available to God and listen
to what He has to say, great things happen. This weekend, I believe with great confidence, will be no
exception, and I am incredibly thankful and honored to be just a small part of it.