Read 1 Peter 1:3-12.
“For you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (v. 9).
Anthony Dixon achieved his goal early in the game, but it was the last yard he will remember for the rest of his life.
From 2006-09, Dixon rushed his way into the Mississippi State record books. His career total of 3,994 rushing yards is the best in school history, as are his 42 touchdowns and his 276 points. He won the 2009 Conerly Trophy as the state’s best football player, in the process setting a State single-season rushing record with 1,391 yards. He was only the seventh player in SEC history to lead his team in rushing four times.
Dixon entered the 2007 Liberty Bowl against Central Florida with his sights set on becoming the first Bulldog sophomore running back to gain 1,000 yards rushing for the season. He needed only twenty yards and got that early on. But the Bulldog offense didn’t do much else as the game settled into a grueling defensive battle. After three quarters, the score was tied at 3, and State had only five first downs and 122 yards of total offense.
But Dixon and his 240 pounds got stronger as the game wore on. He rushed for 31 yards in the fourth quarter alone when the Dogs put together a long touchdown drive that won the game 10-3. The drive covered 59 yards and needed ten plays, five of which were runs by Dixon. The big play was a 14-yard reverse by wide receiver Tony Burks to the Central Florida 3. Dixon got two yards on first down; then came his biggest yard of the night, a dive over a mass of bodies into the end zone with 1:54 to play.
When it was done, State had accomplished its team goal of a bowl win, and Dixon had 1,066 yards for the season -- and his personal goal of 1,000 yards.
What are your goals for your life? Have you ever thought them out? Or do you just shuffle along living for your paycheck and whatever fun you can seek out instead of pursuing some greater purpose?
Now try this one: What is the goal of your faith life? You go to church to worship God. You read the Bible and study God’s word to learn about God and how God wants you to live. But what is it you hope to achieve? What is all that stuff about? For what purpose do you believe that Jesus Christ is God’s son?
The answer is actually quite simple: The goal of your faith life is your salvation, and this is the only goal in life that matters. Nothing you will ever seek is as important or as eternal as getting into Heaven and making sure that everybody you know and love will be there too one day.
It was a goal of mine coming into this season to rush for 1,000 yards. I’ve got to credit my offensive linemen for this.-- Anthony Dixon after the Liberty Bowl
The most important goal of your life is to get to Heaven and to help as many people as you can to get there one day too.