Last season, David Ash went through something very few people experience: He started at quarterback as a true college freshman at a powerhouse football program.
On Wednesday night, he spoke at AFTERdark, a Christian lecture series and concert, about his experience and struggles with his play on the field and how it affected his relationship with God.
“I started playing and I was so excited and things didn’t go my way,” Ash said. “I threw interceptions. I lost games. I got a chance to play some games, but I got benched at the end of the year for two games.”
He said starting was the hardest thing he had ever done. He spent all of his time on football and his faith began to take a back seat. When football took the primary role in his life, things went downhill for him and he was down and depressed.
“During that whole time I began to just fight and I had been driven on football so hard and I wanted to be good so bad and I spent all my time on football and I was gripping on it and holding it too tight,” Ash said.
One night, he prayed and asked for God to show him his love. The next day, wide receiver Jaxon Shipley came to him in the weight room and talked to him about scripture and God’s love.
That sign began a new phase for him and eventually, with the help of his friends and family, Ash found his way back to God. In fact, the experience strengthened his faith.
“What I think happened during that time is that I had this head knowledge that God loves me, growing up with it with my family, and I think, through those hard times it dropped a foot and a half and went to my heart,” Ash said.
Ash referenced a verse from the Bible that says hard times help mature your faith. He said he now appreciates the struggles he went through because they made him stronger.
He also discussed his brother’s academic struggles in high school. Although there was concern he would not graduate, the two of them prayed together and his family prayed for him and a few weeks ago he was confirmed.
“What I want to tell you all is if God loves me enough to die for me and he can come change my life and he can change my little brother’s life, he can change your life,” Ash said.
Mechanical engineering junior Nathan Bienvenu was excited to hear from Texas’ starting quarterback. Bienvenu said he is happy to see Ash stepping up as a leader on the field and on campus.
“Him being a leader on campus and leading by example and living that good Christian life is great because there are so many athletes out there that are just outstandingly talented athletically and they get off the field and are just dumb,” Bienvenu said. “I don’t think he’s like that at all, and it’s really good to see someone living what they tell the press and living how they should be.”
Printed on Thursday, October 25, 2012 as: AFTERdark hosts David Ash