I’ve always been a natural jumper, jumping off of things and over things as a kid. I’ve always enjoyed that feeling. I grew up playing soccer then went to track and field, where my coach challenged me one day and said, “I’ve seen you play basketball and I’ve seen you play soccer, go try jumping in the sand.” And that’s how I ended up where I am now.
I was 16 years old when I went to the Youth Championships in the Czech Republic. That was one of the best days of my life, at least it was at that time. I made the team and went to a place where there were all these cool outfits. I saw “USA” everywhere, but it didn’t really sink in yet. Then I realized I was on the national team for my age group. I couldn’t stop wearing “USA;” I was wearing this every day except for church days. At practice and at school, I would wear “USA” because it meant so much to me. I knew I was the best person to represent my country in this sport. I then went on to many other championships from there.
When you’re representing your country, you have to realize that it’s not you that has done this. It’s God’s power that fuels you to get to the next level.
When I turned 18, during my freshman year in college, I started feeling something within; it was a calling. I started getting involved in FCA and a youth ministry around the school. The feeling kept growing; I couldn’t explain what it was. I then realized that the thing that had been on my heart and my mind for so long, I needed to give over to God. I talked to my pastor, whom I had been talking to for a while, and I told him about what was happening in my heart. He said that it was the Lord calling me.
People don’t always answer the first call. Just like when your mom calls you to say dinner is ready, you might reply, “OK, five minutes!” It’s the same thing. God is saying, “Come to Me; I’m here for you.” But we may say, “I have life to take care of first, I’ll come back.” Well, tomorrow is not promised. I’m blessed He’s given me another opportunity and He’s kept calling me to Him.
Finally, this was the best day of my life. I thought I had that feeling when I was younger, but giving my life to Jesus was so much greater than anything else life has to offer.
—Christian Taylor, USA Olympic triple jumper