Former NFL star Michael Vick has revealed that spending a year and a half behind bars for his participation in an illegal dog-fighting ring showed him that “God was real,” among other essential life lessons.
In fact, Vick — a quarterback whose career was halted in 2007 when he had to serve a 21-month prison sentence before a comeback that reprised his football career — said he knew that God was using the legal conundrum to try and reach him.
“I just felt for a long time that there was a black cloud over my head, there was nothing that I could do right,” Vick said last week in a radio interview with Associated Press writer Rob Maaddi. “I knew the things that I was trying to hide from was finally catching back up with me and it showed me that God was real, that you are not bigger than anybody, not better than anybody.”
The famed football player also described how his worldview changed for the negative after he initially achieved stardom. Feeling as though he had finally made it, he said his priorities suddenly shifted away from what really mattered.
“In all that, you start to think about what is really important,” Vick said. “You start to think that money is more important and chasing money is more important and contracts that you have — companies and appearances and staying out late and not working as hard as you can.”
In the end, Vick said he knows now that God had blessed him and that he had “plenty of chances to do the right thing and I didn’t do it right.” It was his stint in prison, though, that helped him see the light.
Inside his cell, Vick began to turn to the Bible to find comfort and solace, telling Maaddi about the scriptures he relied on as he dealt with the sad emotions that accompanied his poor decisions as well as the overall ordeal.
“The book of Jeremiah, the book of Job was extremely important in my walk and my understanding. The book of Psalms was very powerful,” he said. “I leaned on the book of Psalms in my toughest and my most sorrow moments when I felt like I had no fight left. Those were the nights that I read those scriptures and was able to wake up a new man the next day.”
Vick clearly learned some lessons through his own poor behavior and choices. After spending nearly two years imprisoned for participating in the dogfighting ring, he played more seven seasons in the NFL, joining the Steelers, Jets and Eagles.
He is expected to officially retire this year, hoping to sign a one-day contract and retire with his original team, the Atlanta Falcons. Vick has said that he’d like to one day get into teaching and coaching in the NFL.
(H/T: Christian Post)