By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.
– 1 Peter 1:3
“In the 4th round of the 2014 NFL Draft, the New York Jets select offensive lineman, Dakota Dozier.” That one sentence fulfilled an unlikely dream for a young man and many others who have become accustomed to watching him accomplish the unexpected. Dakota played his high school football at a school not known as a powerhouse on the gridiron. Not only did he play, he excelled. Dakota was an All-State performer and became the first player from his school to participate in the prestigious Shrine Bowl in twenty years . Passed over by the bigger colleges and universities, Dakota signed with Furman University in 2009. Not only did he play, he excelled. Dakota grew into a 6’4”, 313 pound offensive lineman who was a four-year starter, three-time All Southern Conference selection and two-time All American. Did I mention that Dakota also plays the cello. He was named 2014 Male Athlete of the Year and graduated with a degree in health sciences. Dakota’s quest for excellence is deeply rooted in his faith in Jesus Christ.
Scott Shuford, Furman University football chaplain and FCA staff member says “Dakota is a strong warrior for Christ! Over the years, I have watched him mature into a man who consistently puts Christ and others before himself. He is always fighting to better himself on and off the field and I know that however his journey pans out, he will be found walking hand in hand with the Father.” Dakota exemplifies Excellence, one of FCA’s four core values. He would be the first to tell you that God, not Dakota, is the source of all his accomplishments. When we turn our lives over to Jesus, He empowers us in our quest for excellence. He gives each of us the strength not to simply participate in life, but to excel.
Heavenly Father, You are the Great Provider. All that we have and all that we need comes from You. Teach us each day to live for You. Help us to never settle for average, give us Your strength and the desire to strive for excellence. Amen.