Every week Bryce Johnson is joined on Sports Spectrum’s official podcast, SPORTS YAPP, by inspiring guests to discuss sports, faith and life. Listen to the full audio of all his interviews on sportsyapp.com. Below are some highlights from Bryce’s interview with Tim Shaw, who graduated from Penn State University and is currently a linebacker and key special teams player for the Tennessee Titans. He recently went on a mission trip to Haiti. Click here to listen to the interview.
BRYCE JOHNSON: I know you’re a golfer, and since it’s been the offseason, how’s the golf game?
TIM SHAW: I love golf. I’ve been playing since I was 13, and my grandpa taught me how to play. Playing football and playing golf do not mix! When you lift weights and you go out and try to hit a golf ball, it’s a tough thing. So, I’m very, very inconsistent, but I have a blast!
BRYCE JOHNSON: You recently went on a mission trip to Haiti with your friend Kevin Boss (Kansas City Chiefs tight end). How did it work out for you to go on this trip?
TIM SHAW: It’s a very interesting story. I think anytime you really put God at the center of what you’re trying to do, these things just come together. I had another trip planned to go to the Czech Republic with a total different group. That fell through, and the next day, my buddy Kevin Boss calls me up and says, “Hey, this is so random, but I’m going to Haiti with my buddy Denny. Would you like to come with us?” And I’m just like, “Dude, yeah, absolutely I would. I’d love to.” I’m always praying about opportunities and so when one falls in your lap and you just know it’s right, you just jump on it. So, I didn’t even know the details. I just said, “Yeah, man. I’m in!”
BRYCE JOHNSON: That’s a great story on one door closing and another opening. How did the trip end up going?
TIM SHAW: Loving Haiti is a cool organization, started by Kevin’s friend, Denny. Denny is adopting two girls from the orphanage, so he has a huge heart for this place. We just went there to love on these kids and just love on these people and see what we could really do to help. Haiti is such a struggling country, and I think a lot of people attribute it to the earthquake, but I attribute it (I’ve been there twice) to the government and the culture. It’s a struggling people. They lack purpose and direction and leadership. The thing that we can bring over there is a different mindset more importantly than anything.
BRYCE JOHNSON: We would love to hear your testimony. How did you come to know Jesus?
TIM SHAW: I was saved at an early age, but it wasn’t my faith. It was my family’s faith which I’m so thankful for. When it became real for me was when I got older when I had to leave the house go to college, and I got to Penn State and realized I didn’t have my family around anymore. I have to make this decision for myself. There are all these other options out here in the word, and was this right for me? That’s where I had to make that choice of going from a believer who didn’t have Christ on the throne. I was making the decisions, I was making the calls, I was in the driver’s seat doing what I wanted to do, and God was riding along. I let him in the car, but I wasn’t letting him make those decisions for me. When I got to college, that’s when I really had to make that decision of, “Okay, Tim, well, guess what: This is going to have to go a different way. The way you’re living is against what you’re proclaiming.” I had to make that decision to put God on the throne and put him in the driver’s seat, so to speak, and let my decisions start being made for Him and not for my pleasure.
BRYCE JOHNSON: That’s so encouraging to hear. Before you go, though, since you live in Nashville, we have to discuss your thoughts on music. Are you a country fan?
TIM SHAW: I grew up right outside of Detroit and let me tell you, country was the last thing on my mind! That’s just not the way I was built, not how I was designed. But Nashville has influenced me country-wise. I’m trying. I tell people I’m trying to get into country here. I love the music scene down here. You can go any night, you can pick a million places, go somewhere and hear some live music. It might be somebody famous, it might be somebody just trying to make it, but there is nothing but talent here in Nashville, so it’s an awesome place just to go and you can listen to free music all the time, so I love that.
By Bryce Johnson
This column was published in the Sports Spectrum Summer 2012 DigiMag. Follow Bryce on Twitter-@sportsyapp.