Packer fans everywhere are familiar with Ty Montgomery, the team’s running back. He’s widely known for his football skills. There’s so much more to him than just the game, however. Montgomery is also a strong believer who’s not ashamed to speak of his faith!
Ty knew that he wanted to play football professionally from early on. As a young child, at the age of 5 or 6, he told his mom that he wanted to be part of the NFL one day. As a Dallas native, he started out in Little League, working his way from one level to the next. He played at Stanford in college, and his dream of joining the NFL was fulfilled when he was drafted by the Green Bay Packers. When asked what walking out onto Lambeau Field on game day is like, he said that “It’s something you dreamed of as a kid,” – to enter the stadium filled with thousands of people all there for one reason. He went on to say “It’s a great experience to be a part of!” When on the field, it can be incredibly noisy. On the sidelines, players can’t even hear each other. Therefore, the team practices with loudspeakers running! Through study and repetition, the players get to the point where they don’t even need to be able to hear each other to in order to communicate. When questioned regarding the strongest opponent he’s played against, he referenced Julio Jones. As to working with Aaron Rodgers, he stated “It’s humbling. He knows so much about the game,” mentioning that Rodgers thinks of things no one else does.
Ever wondered what a typical day looks like for an NFL player? For Montgomery, it means waking up at 6:00, arriving at work by 6:30-6:45, treatment at 7:00, 3-4 hours of meetings, followed by a 2 1/2 hour practice – all before lunch! The afternoon is filled with further meetings, which last until around 5:30. Even when he arrives home, there’s film to watch. “There’s not even enough time for a bathroom break!” said Ty.
As far as his faith goes, he stated that he truly became a believer several years ago. Though he grew up in church and his father was a pastor, he claimed “I always knew it, but I didn’t really understand relationship.” As he progressed further into his teenage years, he began to question the faith he’d been raised in and study it out in God’s Word for himself, having been brought up to believe that all of the answers could be found in the Bible. As a senior in college, he finally began to grasp what Christianity was really all about. He now lives by the mantra that if he wouldn’t do something at church, then why would he do it at all? “Your religion can’t make your relationship, but your relationship can become your religion,” he sums it up by saying.
When it comes to living out his faith on a day-to-day basis, he says the constant reminder that he needs grace as much as anyone else is helpful. “It’s hard sometimes,” Montgomery acknowledges. Ty claimed that at one point, he felt obligated to attend church in order to feel better. Eventually, however, he began to truly hunger after God, spending time reading the Bible, at church, in prayer, and meditating on His Heavenly Father and the words He’d spoken. He says he actually spent 6-8 hours at a time in a book or text of the Bible. “I found it interesting that marriage is used as a symbol between Christ and the church,” he stated, mentioning that Jesus is with us all of the time, 100%, and that he wants to do the same for his wife. His message to men? “As men, we have to be watchdogs for our women. You have to do your part to protect your wife,” and be a leader for her.
HIs advice to those considering a relationship with Christ? “Being a Christian does have a stigma . . ” but that doesn’t define the church. He goes on to add that while some believers may condemn others, Jesus said if we break even one of the laws, we’ve broken them all (James 2:10). According to Romans 3:8-10, however, love fulfills all the requirements of the law, so if we believe and love God, that fulfills everything else. We must simply accept God’s love and grace, which will make it difficult to sin. His advice? “Take it one day at a time. Come to God just as you are. You don’t need to change yourself for God. Allow God to change you. No one else can be Jesus but Jesus.” What an encouraging message from a well-known athlete!
(Info in article part of an interview that took place at Life Church - www.lifechurchwi.com.)
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