Walking By Faith: Luke McCown - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Walking By Faith: Luke McCown

(KYTX) - It's a cold, wet Sunday morning as folks gathered for Church Under the Bridge in Jacksonville.

Not exactly the place you might expect to find this guy, 10 year NFL veteran Luke McCown.
It was just beyond this bridge in Jacksonville that Luke first decided exactly what he wanted to do with his life.
     
"As weird as that sounds, however old you are in second grade 7,8,9 years old, that's what I wanted to do since I was little.  So I put my life work into being a football player."

     And he's pretty good at it.  First a stand out at Jacksonville High school.  Then on to Louisiana Tech and then to the NFL. 
     But Luke is quick to point out his longevity in the NFL may not be about what he's done on the field.
     In his ten year career, Luke has only started in 9 games. Blown his knee out twice and been on the roster of five different teams. 
     But still he remains. 
     One of 64 guys in a pretty exclusive group of active NFL Quarterbacks.
     When I asked him how he does it?  The conversation turns quickly from football to faith.
 
"I think man God has me here for a reason.  So its not... I could puff myself up all I want and say I'm a football player and this and that.  But at the end of the day the reality of it was or is I've blown my knee out twice and I'm still here and there is no reason for me to be here except I try to use the talent God has given me.  And I try and use the platform He has given me to affect somebody else's life.  So I'm still here because He has me here."
     And he uses that platform not just back home in Jacksonville or to other groups of believers.  
     Luke carries his faith into one of the toughest places you can imagine. 
     An NFL locker room.
"One of my greatest fears is being a hypocrite.  And I'm not perfect.  There are plenty of times I fall flat on my face.  But I know every morning I wake up I go God I need your help.  I want to do what you ask me to do.  That is where we stand in the locker room as believers in the NFL we just want to be an example we just want to show... There are hard things, there are tough things to do but if we are going to be who we say we are those are going to be the things that tell people we are who we say we are."
     Luke and his wife Katy have six children.  
     In the off season they call a ranch south of Jacksonville home.
     They home school their children for a lot of personal reasons... One so the family can be close to dad wherever he may be playing football every season.
     Admittedly, says Luke, a tough life.
     One that requires faith that after so many moves and so much uncertainty, God is in control of this NFL veteran and his life.
"So if I'm not getting to play I may not like it very much but for some reason that is the purpose God has for me.  If I get traded I may not like it very much but God needs me to go do something somewhere else.  And the better I understood that the easier it became.  And I say easily loosely it was still hard.  But it didn't take long to grasp the understanding I'm not in this league for me I'm here to do work for the Kingdom of God.  So from that standpoint it has gotten easier.
     This week Luke will return to spring practices for the New Orleans Saints.
     He's was resigned for at least one more year though there is no guarantee he'll make the roster this season.
     And if this or the next or the next season is the last he'll be remember by how he lived as a player... Not just how he played.
"But that they would see I love my family.  That I put God first and my family second and football was just something I loved doing and I was good at.  And again that somehow they saw the hand of God through my career and was encouraged by it."
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