Brian “Weapon X” DawkinsMen of Faith Thursday, April 16th, 2009
Written by William Campbell Brian Dawkins is an all-time fan favorite. Fierce, driven, passionate, and best of all highly-skilled, “Weapon X” is a seven-time Pro Bowler who spent 13 years in midnight green, has left an indelible mark not only on Eagles history, but also in the collective psyche of Birds fans everywhere.
Eagles Nation loves him because he gives 110% every down, wears his emotions on his bulging biceps and in a town where sports is religion, plays football like it’s the most important thing in his life.
But the fact is it’s not. At the center of his existence is something far deeper. Here, in his own words is Dawkins’ story.
“I love playing football. Sports have been an important part of my life since I was a kid. In fact, it was on a football field that my life was drastically changed.”
My senior year in high school a pastor came onto our field after practice one day. He said, “You will go to hell if you don’t know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior.” That was a place I didn’t want to go.
So, right there on that field, I accepted Christ into my life. I went on to play college ball at Clemson University and then was drafted by the Eagles in 1996. So me and my wife Connie, who was pregnant at the time had to make the move to Philly.
Eventually, pressure from the new job, stress from the relocation, complications in the pregnancy, and problems with family caused me to sink into depression. I was finally in the NFL, everything was supposed to be great. But it wasn’t.
I remember driving home one day and thinking of ways to kill myself. I thought about driving off the Walt Whitman Bridge. There was a cloud over my home. As I look back, I know that if the Lord hadn’t been watching over my life, I wouldn’t be here today.
Back then I wasn’t walking closely with Jesus Christ. It wasn’t until me and Troy Vincent were at a conference a few years ago that the Lord really got a hold of my life. It was there that a challenge was issued that I had never heard before about really being the man of the household about being a really man of God every day.
I saw that I was failing my family. I wasn’t praying over my kids, wasn’t praying over my wife. I saw that I needed to do what God had put me on this earth to do. I learned about my purpose. It went far deeper than football.
God has a purpose for every person, and the key to joy and peace in this life is walking in His purpose for our lives. At that time, I made the decision that I didn’t want to be a casual Christian anymore.
I didn’t want to just go to church. I wanted an intimate relationship with God. My life has never been the same since.
Jesus Christ is everything to me now. He’s the reason I play football with so much passion. He’s the reason I put my family first. He’s the reason I’ve been able to prosper as an NFL player.
If I had not invited Him into my life on that football field many years ago, I wouldn’t be where I am today. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me".
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