Imagine this. You’re the center of attraction in a jammed packed stadium full of 90,000 screaming people. All of a sudden you kneel down in prayer and start thanking God for what you have. Now I ask you, how many of us would be able to do something like that? It’s not something you HAVE to answer. Just some food for thought.
Anyways, the celebrity in question here is young Mexican striker Javier Hernandez, who plays for one the world’s biggest football (soccer if you’re confused) clubs, Manchester United. Just a bit of background info on Hernandez before I get into the main theme of the post. Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez comes from a hardcore football family. His grandfather played for Mexico in the World Cup and his father was also a Mexican International. Little wonder that Chicharito also decided to join the family profession.
Hernandez started his career with local club, Chivas Guadalajara. However, it wasn’t the start he was hoping for. One goal in two years is an abysmal record for any striker at any level. That’s when he began to doubt himself. But that’s also the point where his faith in God grew. It was during this time when games were hard to come by that he began to pray to God at the beginning of every match he took part in, thanking Him for letting him play another game. This was soon followed by a meeting with his family where he decided once and for all that he would stick with football.
Things started to look up for him. Over the next two years, Hernandez scored 28 goals from 60 appearances and was soon called up to the national side. It was at this point in time that Manchester United took an interest in him. 4 goals in4 games for Mexico meant he was called up to the squad for the World Cup where he scored another 2 goals in the competition. Following the World Cup, Hernandez completed his move to United and at the age of 22, has established himself as one of the world’s hottest young talents. Yet despite hitting stellar heights, Hernandez hasn’t given up on his ritual of praying in the middle of the pitch before every game.
This post isn’t about Chicharito’s fairy tale career. It’s about the means by which he achieved it. This story teaches us three very important lessons. First of all, it teaches us to turn to God in our hour of need. Usually when things don’t go our way, we tend to look for short cuts or give up altogether. We seldom turn to the One who has the power to help and guide us through difficult times. Ironically, we usually end up blaming God for putting us through such testing times.
Secondly, it teaches us to be thankful for what we have. When we do turn to God in our times of need, we mostly ask Him to deliver us from our predicament. Little do we realize that God has given us the power to overcome our problems. All God does is guide us or give us opportunities to make it through these situations. However in Javier’s case, he didn’t ask God to make him a better player. All he did was thank God for giving him a chance when he wasn’t playing well.
Last but not the least, it teaches us humility. Despite making it big, Hernandez hasn’t forgotten that it was God who was by his side at his darkest hour. He may be an international superstar but he is humble enough not to get carried away. Many a time, we see people who have achieved a lot in life but do not have the humility to go along with it. They forget the beginnings from which they arose to reach that lofty position and sometimes even despise them. To some, he might look a little silly kneeling in the middle of a stadium but that is his humility where he thanks God for making him who he is today.
No matter what we do in life, we mustn’t forget that it is God who has taken us this far. Stories like Javier’s are common throughout the world. They remind us of what we stand to gain if we have faith. After all, it was his faith in his prayers that helped a diminutive Mexican abandon his plans of quitting the game he loved and led him on to play with the best as well as against the best in the world.
About the Contributor
This article was written and contributed by Richie Mohanty. You can view his profile by heading to this link. This is Richie Mohanty’s third post contribution to Sakura no Kokoro.