Emmanuel Moody, a 6-foot, 210-pound running back from Coppell, Texas, transferred from the University of Southern California to the University of Florida last year. Moving from the hustle and bustle of city life in Los Angeles to Gainesville has given Emmanuel more time to himself.
He spends that time praying and practicing his faith as a devout Christian who one day wants to become a minister. Emmanuel even prays during practice. When he was asked what the difference is this year compared to his freshman season at Southern Cal in 2006, he didn't mention football plays.
"This season my focus is more on God," Emmanuel said. "If I'm not spiritually right, then I won't play football to the best of my ability. He's the one who gives me strength. He's the one that gives me comfort. Sometimes at practice I'll look to Him and start praying. That's the difference beween this season and all the other seasons is that He's really captured my heart. The Holy Spirit is the one that guides me."
Emmanuel is a great role model and exemplifies what being a Christian is truly about. And he has his priorities in order (God comes first and he lives the life of a Christian).
"My mind isn't always on football. It's on other things, like God. He definitely comes first. Football just falls into place," Emmanuel said.
Now that's the type of athlete that we should be able to look up to as a role model. Emmanuel doesn't take anything for granted and knows that God has blessed him with his abilities. In return for his faith in God and living the life of a devout Christian, God will in turn bless him in many ways.
We need more courageous and faithful Christians like Emmanuel Moody (and Tim Tebow) to step forward and spread the faith and encourage others to put God first and give thanks to Him and all that He does for us.
Emmanuel also has the advantage of being in the spotlight because he is a member of the Florida Gators football team. He has the chance to witness to so many others including other members of the football team, the coaches and staff and thousands of fans and supporters.
If that isn't a blessing, then I don't know what is!