This week’s Faith, Family, & Football feature is: Eddie Mason, Former Redskin, Jaguar, Jet.
PE: Why is faith important to you?
Mason: Faith is the very thing that has allowed for me to 1.) Develop a sound relationship with Jesus Christ. 2.) It has given me the ability to believe what God has spoken even in adversity. 3.) It has given me the ability to KNOW GOD and trust in what I cannot see by Faith.
PE: Tell us about your family and the impact they’ve had on your life?
Mason: I have been truly blessed with a wonderful wife (Sonya RS Mason) and three wonderful children (Tyler, Sydney & Elisha). My wife has shown me truly the “Unconditional Love” that only comes from the Heart of God. I am a firm believer that even in my mess and mistakes as a husband, father and man, she has learned to embrace the Love of God to a degree to love me in-spite of myself. This has been the one thing that drew me to a greater relationship with The Lord and I believe that her patience with me our children and my career as a professional athlete empowered and encouraged me to BE THE BEST at all I put my hands to. I believe that The Lord gives you a wife and children to Love, to Provide and to Protect! But He also gives them to you to Develop and Nurture to become more than what you could ever do! The hope for my children have given me is the fact that they truly LOVE GOD! As a child I did not know God on an intimate level and they do! So for me to have the opportunity to watch and see that that they love Jesus Christ, they Love Going to Church, They Love Praying, They Put Him First in All Things and their Gifting for the Kingdom is becoming ever present each day! That has truly kept me focused on being the best example for them as well as my wife!
PE: What does being a father mean to you?
Mason: Being a father to me is not about being a provider or getting my kids the next big thing. That is my responsibility. Being a father is about leaving a lasting spiritual impact upon my children that will give them the foundations of faith in the word, in prayer and in service to the Kingdom of God! My hope is that when I leave this earth that my kids would not remember me for what I physically gave to them, but what I spiritually imparted into them in regards to the wisdom of God to be ready for whatever comes at them in life.
PE: How has your faith and family helped you develop off the field?
Mason: I can recall when I was injured and out of football for almost two years waiting on God to open a door of opportunity! During that time I learned more about myself, my family and my faith than I could have ever imagined. You see a lot of times we thinks as athletes that our lives and career is supposed to go perfect, but that is not how God works! During that time my wife helped Encourage me to continue to believe that I was more than an Athlete! I was a mighty MAN OF God and this helped give me a new vision, that football was not my purpose, it was what I happened to do! When God restored me back from that career threatening injury, I knew what was purpose was and it was simply to IMPACT LIVES in the locker room! That is probably the very thing that birthed my purpose for ministry and for life off the field!
PE: How do you balance faith, family, and football?
Mason: You have to create a routine! My routine is rise early to seek God’s face. To get to know God intimately which is first. The second thing is make time for you and your wife! It is not always about quantity but quality, which I have learned that we have to “shut-off” the cell-phones, emails etc. and allow for intimate time with our families. We have to spend quality time as a family, but also individually. For example my youngest son and I take rides together and talk and sometimes have what we call “boys night out” at my house where we order bad food, get some yogurt and watch football together! It is silly at the base of it, but my son eats it up and he has learned how open up and talk about things that bother him. There is a mighty power released when we have “balanced order” that God seems to put everything else in line! If you put football over the things I mentioned above you are bound to fail. So create success by created “balanced order” by putting God First, Family Second and your career third!
PE: What advice would you give to student athletes and current professional athletes in regards to their faith, family, and football?
Mason: My advice is this…If this was your last day on this earth Who Do You Want People to Remember you As? So make sure the decisions you make are not only about you, but the lasting impact they may have on the lives of others. Lead a life filled with humility, but with the courage of lion and “Do Everything With a Whole Heart as Unto to The Lord and Not Unto Man!” Colossians 3:23.