I had the pleasure of reading a well-written article by All Clemson’s Zach Lentz earlier, regarding how Christ changed the direction of Dabo Swinney’s life. Like all good articles, it gave me pause to think. I reflected on being among both the blessed and the persecuted.
Swinney’s faith is well known and to many, it’s an inspiration but to others, it’s a target of his back. Anyone that questions this man’s convictions doesn’t really know Swinney. In an article I wrote last week detailing how both he and his wife Kathleen were cheerful givers and how that aspect of his life only fuels some people’s disdain.
Some despise him for his success, citing it’s accidental and shamelessly earned on the back of his assistant coaches and unpaid players. What?
Isn’t that what every head coach does, lead a collaborative effort for success? Some disparage him because he lives his faith out loud and that leads to a deep desire to ridicule and belittle. Much like Tim Tebow, Swinney is the victim of cruel words and intentions hurled at him from all directions. Simply because his faith makes them uncomfortable.
Most of the unpleasantries thrown toward Swinney are the result of him creating a successful program built on a foundation of faith, family and football. Some believe God and sport are somehow incongruent and Swinney defies that notion, profoundly.
That bullseye on his back isn’t a point of concern for Swinney, it’s a point of pride, a badge of honor. One that shows those willing to see, that anything worth having is hard and living his way, in faith is a well-lived but hard life. Not a life for all but that’s the blessing of living with the ability to choose without ridicule, the way we worship.
Politics and religion, as we’re taught, aren’t easy topics of conversation but when good men and women are ostracized for what they believe, easy be dammed. I believe, all of Clemson has cause to be proud of the leadership and example set by a man with a target squarely on his back. He knows his God is bigger than any arrow delivered to any point on the target, even the bullseye.
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