I can look back on my journey and say with full assurance that I felt God’s call on my life since infancy. He spoke to my heart as a child and I was never able to get Him out of my head. Even when I tried to walk away, He was always able to pull me back.
My older sisters were the ones who wouldn’t let me get away with being average, or to only go to church on the weekends. They wanted me to give school, skiing, and especially God, my everything. But in the middle of high school, when my parents split up and my sisters left for college, all of a sudden I had this massive structure of support missing from my life.
That’s when I really walked away and did my own thing. I went through a journey of discovering whether my faith in God really was my own or just something I believed because I was told of it from a young age on. I read the Quran, the Book of Mormon, the Apocrypha, but there’s a reason Christianity has always stood out to me. Jesus’ message is so unique compared to any other message in the world.
I’m grateful to God for the time in my life I tried to walk away from Him because now, when people ask me why I have the faith that I have, it’s an easy answer. I know because I took the time to discover why I believe it.
As long as skiing is my act of worship to God, which it has always been, I will keep doing it. I don’t treat my sport as something that’s meant to glorify me, I try my best to treat it as something that brings glory to God. He gave me the talent and continues to provide opportunities, so I’m going to go out there and use this as an act of worship.
It probably helps that I can’t really sing and I’m a little bit of an awkward dancer. People ask me, “How do you worship?” I tell them I worship with my body, just in a different way than most do. I want to expand people’s view to make something their own and make that their act of worship. That’s what God wants from us.
I have plenty of medals to my name. I have plenty of worldly accolades. But if anything, winning all those titles has made me recognize that they’re really not worth that much. The most fulfilling things are all relationship-based. It’s all about inspiring my kids to be better, inspiring my kids to love others the way that Jesus loves them, inspiring people to pursue their dreams.
I take Jesus’ approach to life as much as I can. In Luke 15:4, He says that He’s willing to walk away from the 99 to save the one. If I can accomplish anything in my life, it would be to inspire just one person.
— David Wise, Olympic gold medal freestyle skier
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.