We reached the pinnacle; we climbed to the top of the ladder. We won the Super Bowl! It is so amazing to be able to enjoy the blessings God has given us after all the hard work we’ve put in.
Recently I was watching the Olympics with my wife and we saw the profiles of athletes who have been training in their sport since they were 6 years old. Then it hit me: I have been playing tackle football since I was 7. I have devoted my entire life to this sport, and I’ve been so fortunate to have won two world championships.
When I was starting out in the NFL, I remember thinking, “Man, if I could just win one Super Bowl, I’d be the happiest guy in the world.” Then after I accomplished that, I thought, “Now I want two!” Then I began to believe the lie, “Man, if I can be a three-time world champion, everything would be complete.” Every time I obtain these wins, I realize this is not what satisfies me. God continually draws me back to Him. I enjoy the game of football so much, but at the same time, I know this is not where my hope, joy and substance come from.
This time around, I was able to enjoy this Super Bowl win with my two boys. At 6 and 4 years old, they see how hard I work and that my commitment to this game has been honored by the Lord. They’ve seen me be dedicated, devoted and honoring God through all circumstances — injuries, losses, wins and trades. Just because things may not go well for me personally, they’ve watched me work hard and invest in those around me for a greater purpose. Just because this season didn’t turn out the way I hoped for personally, they watch as I’ve trusted in God’s plan.
Both of my sons are playing flag football and it’s so fun to be able to watch them enjoy the game as I do. I’ve been able to teach them a lot through it, including humility when they win and want to be hot-dogging it. I’m able to share with them the fact that God’s given them these gifts and talents to honor Him, and when we do well, it’s for His glory, not our own. When they begin to idolize the things they collect, whether it be toy cars, football helmets or keeping score of their games, I try to tell them God’s blessed us with these things to enjoy them, but they are not to take the place of first importance in our lives.
When people — especially my kids — think about me and my career, I want them not to first think of Chris Maragos the NFL player, or Chris Maragos the world champion. Instead I would hope they remember me as Chris Maragos the guy who honors the Lord, and who just happens to be a football player. I hope and pray my kids look back at my film one day and are proud to say their dad was one of the hardest workers out there, that he played so tirelessly for his teammates.
I would hope they would be proud to carry the name Maragos, seeing Christlike characteristics in their dad that they want to carry into their own lives.
— Chris Maragos, Philadelphia Eagles safety
The Increase, part of the Sports Spectrum Network, is a community of Christian pro athletes sharing their personal stories of the decrease of self and the increase of Christ (John 3:30). Visit TheIncrease.com for more stories and videos.