The One Who Gives My Life Meaning
August 1, 2002 - Anthony Muñoz, former offensive tackle for the National Football League’s Cincinnati Bengals, was the executive chair of the Greater Cincinnati Northern Kentucky Billy Graham Mission. He gave his testimony, below, at the Mission.
by Anthony Muñoz
There are two sides to my life. One side is my successful career as a National Football League (NFL) player. In 1980 I was the Cincinnati Bengals’ first-round draft pick. I was elected to 11 consecutive Pro-Bowls, and I was a member of the NFL’s 75th Anniversary All-Time Team and a member of the All-NFL Team of the 1980s. But I’ve learned that life is not about success and fame.
The other side of my life was more difficult. I attended the University of Southern California (USC), but my circumstances were difficult. I had three knee operations and was not able to play football during my freshman, junior and senior years.
While I was at USC, some staff at Campus Crusade for Christ explained the Gospel to me. An offensive line teammate also told me about Christ. During my sophomore year, I started dating Dede, the young woman who would become my wife. Dede’s sister and brother-in-law talked to us about having a relationship with Jesus. After talking with them at a restaurant one evening, Dede and I both accepted Jesus Christ. Having explored the Gospel, I realized I needed to enter into a relationship with Christ. It was the best decision I’ve ever made.
Surprisingly my sophomore year was the only year that I was healthy enough to play football. That year I played on the national championship baseball team as well.
Although I played only one full game during my senior year, my performance convinced the Bengals to draft me as an offensive tackle. It took only one season in the NFL for me to realize that life wasn’t about money or success. I finally understood that I needed Jesus because only He could fill the emptiness in my heart. I knew that He needed to become the center of everything I did.
After 13 seasons with the Bengals I retired in 1992. Today I still try to demonstrate to people the love and mercy that God has shown me. I’ve learned that no matter what struggles or successes I experience, Jesus is the One who gives my life meaning.