Pastor's Corner

25 Jan
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Mid-Week Challenge

One of the greatest needs we have as human beings is to feel like we matter.  For most of us, our purpose is what drives us to get up in the morning and it’s what brings us satisfaction at the end of the day.  To feel irrelevant is a huge blow, but what happens when you are given that label?  The National Football League has an unofficial title for the player selected dead last in the annual draft.  Pick No. 262 is known as “Mr. Irrelevant.”  To make it all that way, one foot in the door, then to be given that title.  Historically, most players picked in this position only go down in the record books for this reason.  Their professional career is marked with criticism and ridicule.  All of this is true for last year's No. 262, Brock Purdy, except for the results he’s produced on the field.  

Before Purdy was selected by the 49ers as Mr. Irrelevant with the No. 262 pick, the former Iowa State quarterback once was an afterthought for most teams in the draft.

Two words sum up what most teams had for him: "NO INTEREST."  After his senior season at Perry High School, University of Alabama coach Nick Saban once told Purdy, a recruit at the time, what he was lacking as a quarterback. “You’re below average in height. Your arm strength is whatever. Your accuracy is average.” That was back in 2018.  Today, since taking over for an injured Jimmy Garoppolo against the Miami Dolphins in Week 13, Purdy, statistically, has been one of the best quarterbacks in the league, helping lead the 49ers to an NFC Championship Game appearance against the Philadelphia Eagles this on Sunday.

Despite playing less than half the season, Purdy is being mentioned as a candidate for the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award. San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan said Purdy is "definitely the most poised rookie I've ever had."  How does one go from Mr. Irrelevant to a candidate for Rookie of the Year?  Purdy says that it is because his identity is not in football, but in Christ.  Two years ago, long before the NFL draft, he discussed his faith in an interview with Sports Spectrum, a Christian media outlet.   Purdy recounted a moment at Iowa State when he asked God to forgive him for placing football before his relationship with Christ.  He said, "I want to be able to witness and defend the Christian faith as best as I can… It was just a great reminder of where my identity is, where it lies. My identity is in Jesus."

When the world is against you, always know God is for you! Someone deep in the 49ers organization (I couldn’t find the name of the scout) saw something and had enough pull with the “higher ups” in the organization to say, “hey let's use our last pick on this kid from Iowa State.”  And here he is, one game away from appearing in the Super Bowl as a rookie.  What’s the lesson?  When God is on your side, always bet on yourself.  Purdy admits, after asking God to forgive him for putting football before Christ, “the next day I didn't go out and throw for 500 yards and was this awesome quarterback, but it was just this peace that I had with Him knowing that, 'Hey, no matter what I'm going to face moving forward during college football, God and Jesus are going to be my identity. And whatever I face, I won't be shaken from it.' I've got a great foundation in Him." 

Don’t listen to the noise of this world. Be the best that you can be no matter what those around say you cannot do.  With God, all things are possible!   

Serving the Savior,

Bro. Jonathan


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