Advice for Tom Brady

BradyAs Tom Brady approaches the AFC Championship game for a phenomenal 8th time in his career, I have a piece of advice for him.

I have no advice on throwing mechanics or how to best scramble out of the pocket. As a skinny kid with no experience playing football I’m poorly equipped to offer him any athletic advice. And frankly, it’s virtually irrelevant to sports altogether. Rather, it’s about life, and it’s about success. But mostly it’s about satisfaction.

In 2005, after winning his 3rd Super Bowl in his young career, Steve Kroft of 60 Minutes interviewed Brady, but the interview took a surprising turn.

In self-reflection Brady questioned “Why do I have three Super Bowl rings and still think there’s something greater out there for me? I mean, maybe a lot of people would say, ‘Hey man, this is what is.’ I reached my goal, my dream, my life. Me, I think, ‘God, it’s got to be more than this.’ I mean this isn’t, this can’t be what it’s all cracked up to be.”

Though most people could only dream of the fame and fortune that comes along with rapid success in the NFL (not to mention marrying a supermodel), Brady was still unsatisfied.

Unfortunately, Tom Brady didn’t know what more there was.

The world offers a whole lot to fill that void in our lives, but no degree of fame, fortune, luxury or success can satisfy the desire of our soul.

In John 4, Jesus approached a woman of Samaria and asked for a drink or water. The woman was confused about the encounter and questioned why a Jew would interact with a Samaritan woman (for Jews and Samaritans did not get along well). Jesus responds that if she knew who she was talking to, she would  have asked for a drink and He would have given her Living Water.

Even water, something crucially vital to our survival, doesn’t actually satisfy. As creatures bound to the earth, we constantly need to drink water lest we dehydrate. You can only last a few days without water before the body will stop functioning altogether.

In contrast, Living Water satisfies. Of course, Living Water isn’t a sort of magical drink that quenches a physical thirst. Rather, Living Water satisfies the thirst of our souls.

As humans we seek satisfaction in our soul through many different avenues. The woman in question was in her 6th marriage, clearly unsatisfied with what the world could offer. She was seeking satisfaction in her relationships, but she wasn’t finding it. Just like Tom Brady, both were dissatisfied with what the world could offer them. Both are left with a spiritual thirst for something more–something that can satisfy.

Truthfully, Living Water is Jesus Christ. God identifies himself as the “Spring of Living Water” in Jeremiah 2:13, stating:

“My people have committed two sins:
They have forsaken me,
the spring of living water,
and have dug their own cisterns,
broken cisterns that cannot hold water.

The things of the world are equated to “broken cisterns.” They can’t satisfy because, metaphorically, they can’t hold water. Only when we pursue the abundant life that Jesus offers will we be satisfied.

So Tom, remember that this next game is a big step in your career, but won’t offer the satisfaction you’re looking for. Only Jesus can do that.


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