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Clemson Coach Dabo Swinney Gives Powerful Advice to 15-Year-Old Fan: 'God Never Says, Oops!'

12-09-2020
Image Source: Dabo Swinney (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)
Image Source: Dabo Swinney (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney spoke freely about his faith earlier this week, encouraging one young man to make faith in God the center of his life.

On a radio show this week, a 15-year-old fan named Jordan asked Swinney what he'd say to himself at age 15.

The football coach was quick to point the young man toward living his life with a purpose and for a relationship with God to be a large part of that, Sports Spectrum reports.

"The most important thing is you were created on purpose," Swinney told Jordan. "You have a thumb print. There are billions of people in this world, and you are the only one with your thumb print. And God intended it to be that way, so you are the only one that can leave the imprint that He has given you."

"If you will build your life on a foundation of faith, then you will know true peace and happiness. If you build it on anything else, or seek happiness in anything else, then you are going to always be let down," Swinney said. 

He talked to the teen about reading the Bible and how our Heavenly Father will bring us peace during times that seem hopeless. 

"One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Jeremiah 29:11," Swinney said. "When I was 15 I had a lot of, man there was a lot of anxiety and like, 'What is my future and how am I going to do this and that?' But Jeremiah 29:11 says, 'For I know the plans I have for you.' Not that I think I know. God says, 'For I know the plans I have for - not everyone - for you.' Those are plans for good, not disaster. Plans to give you a future and a hope." 

Swinney added, "I love that Bible verse because if you really grab on to that, you are going to have some challenges, you are going to have some disappointments, you are going to have some setbacks, you are going to have some failures and you are going to have some successes, but if you can hang on to that, God never says, 'Oops!' God never says, 'My bad!' Then again, if there is hope in the future, then there is power in the present to deal with whatever comes your way. There is nothing that is going to happen to you that you and God can't handle together." 

Then, he spoke about the needlessness of worrying.

"Don't worry. It is not going to add anything to your life. Just do the best you can with what you got. That is what the happiest people in the world do. They take what they have and do the best they can with it. That is what life is about," the coach explained. 

Swinney is known for giving God the glory after successful football games. When Clemson won their second national title in 2019, the coach rendered credit to our Lord and Savior for that victory.

"You can't write a Hollywood script like this. Only God can do this and that's a fact," Swinney said. "And people may think I'm crazy or a quack or whatever, but only God can orchestrate this.  But I'm just telling you if I can do it, and those Clemson Tigers can do it, anybody can do it if you just have a belief in yourself and what you are doing and you surround yourself with great young people that are passionate about winning."

During a press conference last summer, Swinney said having "purpose" would be the team's mission for their upcoming season. 

For the coach, football is a distant second when it comes to what he's referring to when he talks about purpose. "I know what my purpose as a man is. That's to glorify God, be a great husband and father and use the game of football to equip young people for life," Swinney declared.

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