A year ago I had a wonderful interview with Tim Shaw, a linebacker for the Tennessee Titans. I recorded our conversation and also wrote down notes from it. The problem after we talked, my phone went on the berserk and I lost our conversation. So I want to apologize to Tim for this post because it doesn’t really share the full passion that Tim has for Christ in his life. This is my interview with Tim as he shared his heart with me about his faith, football and his passion for both.
At the time of his graduation, he held the Michigan high school records for career rushing yards (7,611) and career touchdowns (131), records since surpassed by East Grand Rapids High School‘s Kevin Grady.
He earned 11 letters in football, basketball and track and field. He was the Michigan state 100-meter dash champion his junior year. n January 27, 2010, the USA Today announced that Shaw had made its All-Joe Team, honoring the NFL’s unsung and underrated players.
Tell me a little about yourself:
Tim: I was born in England and I still have family there. We moved to Michigan and I attended Penn State University. I attended Penn State and had the privilege to have Joe Paterno as my head coach. I chose to go to Penn State because it was different from the other colleges I visited on my recruiting trips. When I stepped on campus, the people were blue-collar and I just felt like I fit in there. He was drafted in 2007 in the 5th round by the Carolina Panthers.
Spiritual Journey In Life:
I was blessed to have a family who were very spiritual and Christ like. My grandparents set the example of Jesus who had a desire to follow God closely in their lives. That passion for Christ and to follow God was instilled in me at a young age and will be part of my life forever. Church camp and church was a big influence in my life as I started my own walk with Christ. The memories I have from them still inspire me today.
Went to college and made my own decision to go to church on Sunday mornings. No one told me I had to go to worship, I wanted to.
Who spiritually influenced you and influences you today:
My parents and grandparents influence my life spiritually. As a young person I was daily accountable for my actions and for my walk with Christ. I have had several spiritual mentors who helped me with my walk with Christ. Some of my amazing mentors are Tim McGill a chaplain who once a week taught the bible to me and my teammates. Another guy who influenced me was Reggie Pleasant. I still meet with him today in Nashville, which is a Christ community.
The Titans have a team bible study and a chapel service the morning of every game.
Did you ever have to choose between faith and sports growing up:
I never had to choose between them because they went hand in hand with each other. I always had people around me encouraging me to give the glory to God for whatever I did in life.
Is it hard to be a Christian and play in the NFL:
There is defiantly plenty of temptations out there if you lose your focus. Like any other job it is hard to live that daily life. You can slip up by being as good as you want to be. You need to stand up to your peers and keep walking the walk.
Do your teammates know that you are a Christian:
I believe they do by the example I portray on and off the field.
How do you life your faith on the field:
The way I play at practice and in games by keeping guys in check, reading scripture, being a good teammate,showing good sportsmanship and by making an impact in their lives by encouraging them and helping out the young guys.
Are there other teammates who share your faith:
Absolutely! So far on every team I have been on there has been a solid group of guys who love Jesus. (Tim was on the Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears and Jacksonville Jaguar’s before coming to the Titans) I have some really good friends who have been good examples for me and others. Several of the Titans sever God with all their heart especially Matt Hasselbeck is a great leader and a strong believer.
Most powerful verse that has helped you with your walk:
Romans 10:9 – “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
One story: My dream was to play in the NFL, that dream came true and I was drafted by the Panthers. I thought now I’m here and it’s going to be great. I thought that now I can live life and get married but I was cut after my rookie season. I wasn’t picked up for 3 months and needed to trust and rely on God. It was a critical time in my life but God helped me through it and now it really worked out for me with the Titans.
He shared his heart with me during our conversation. Tim is a godly man who shares his heart for Jesus and is very passionate about his walk with him. You can follow him on twitter or be his friend on facebook and you can see his love for Christ and for others. Tim has inspired me by his encouraging comments, thoughts and lifestyle. He is a great player for the Titans and even a greater man of God. Take some time next season to watch the Titans play and watch number 59 smile has he tackles an opposing player.