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Wells Thompson, Chicago Fire, Soccer

by carmine on August 28, 2013

 

Written by: Ginger Poulson

Spotlight Athlete Archive

Many athletes have big dreams. Dreams to accomplish prestigious achievements like being a first-round draft pick or winning a championship, like the Super Bowl or the MLS Cup .

Chicago Fire midfielder Wells Thompson is living that dream.

 After a fantastic collegiate career at Wake Forest where he earned accolades ranging from ACC All-Freshman team in 2003, to the ACC All-Tournament team his senior season, the New England Revolution selected Thompson in the first round of the 2007 Major League Soccer SuperDraft with the fifth overall pick

 In his rookie season for the New England Revolution, Thompson scored the deciding goal of the 2007 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final to help lead the Revolution to a 3-2 victory to capture the cup.

 In 2010 Thompson entered his first season with the Colorado Rapids, as he helped the team earn the 2010 MLS Cup—the championship of Major League Soccer.

 However in the craziness of that moment, Wells Thompson realized that “living the dream” was about so much more than success on the field. Thompson and a few teammates gathered at midfield and spent that moment of celebration giving glory to God.

 “My personal relationship with Jesus is the most important thing for me. So no matter what I am doing, I am trying to do it to the best of my ability for His glory,” said Thompson.

 “He has blessed me with soccer as a platform, and so I want to use that platform and the gifts that He has given me to bring Him glory and to give back and love on others,” Thompson continue. “I realize that life is not about me and gaining fame for myself, but is about Jesus, His love for us, and how we can lift His name up!”

 To glorify God on and off the field, Thompson looks to 1 Corinthians 10:31 which says, “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” and Galatians 2:20 which says, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

 Although Thompson grew up in the church, he is the first to admit that it took time for him to understand what it meant to have a personal relationship with Jesus.

Here is Wells speaking on “God’s love” in our Unashamed Athletes Video Series.

 “I grew up in the Church. My parents are believers so they tried to instill in us Christian values and pass along their love for Jesus! There is a huge difference between having your parents’ beliefs impressed upon you versus having your own personal relationship with Jesus,” said Thompson.

 The excitement of that moment resonated in his voice as he explained “I didn’t truly give my life to Jesus until my junior year in college. God had been relentlessly pursuing me and knocking on my heart. It was all Him!”

 “He called me to Himself and I eventually surrendered and followed. It was during a mission trip to the Dominican Republic with my Church that I accepted Jesus into my life!”

 Hearing Thompson talk about the theme verse of Unashamed Athletes was extremely powerful.  Romans 1:16 says “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes.” As he talks about the difference in his life before and after coming to Christ, he brings this verse to life.

 “I would have told you I was a Christian for most of my life, but I never thought God was cool. He was the last thing I wanted to talk about, as I was more concerned with being cool and fitting in. It’s embarrassing to admit, but it is true.”

 “I understand now how foolish and immature I was. I love Jesus and I want the whole world to know. Playing professional soccer is what I do for a living, but it is not who I am. Who I am is a son of God; a follower of Jesus! Today I decide to live for the approval of God and not for man.“

 He further explained, “I know when I die and go to heaven God won’t talk about the goals I scored or the championships I won. The only thing that will matter is my faith in Jesus Christ! This world is not all there is, and it brings so much joy and hope knowing that we will spend eternity with our Lord and Savior!”

 Romans 1:16 mirrors how he is unashamed and both 1 Corinthians 10:31 and Galatians 2:20 inspires how he gives glory to God, but he has a different verse that he calls his favorite.

 “My favorite Bible verse is John 3:30,”that He may increase and that I may decrease.” It is so easy to believe that this world is about me, and making much of my name. This verse keeps me focused that Jesus is king and that He deserves all the glory and honor. My sinful selfish nature wants me to focus on me and all my desires and wants, but Living for Jesus is about dying to self and carrying your cross for Him and His glory,” he said.

 As Thompson lives boldly in his faith, striving to put God first and to spread the gospel, his advice for other athletes who want to share their faith is simple:

 “Ask God to give you the strength! We are all weak, anxious, fearful people, and it is only through His working in us that we are able to do anything at all! Plus he says to ask whenever we need something! It’s normal to be fearful about sharing your faith, just look at the apostles. We all struggle with it, but Christ says it is important so we should pray about it and work on sharing our faith because the more we do it the more comfortable we will become.”

 As both a true example of an Unashamed Athlete and a Christian,  even when his soccer days are done Thompson will continue to “live the dream” as he lives his life for Jesus Christ. 

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