Heart of an Athlete: Rhett Rakshani

Heart of an Athlete
April 2010

Rhett Rakhshani
University of Denver
Men's Hockey

Selected Struggle: Surrender

Dictionary definition: “To give oneself up as unto the power of another; submit or yield.”

My definition: “The ability to lay your life at God’s feet and have faith in what He is going to do with you.”

Favorite Scripture that deals with surrender: Matthew 16:24-26 – “Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will find it…’” (v. 24-25).

Why I chose this verse: “To me, I think God is saying that if we truly wish to find meaning in our lives, we need to surrender to Him and trust His plan for us. We should let God lead our lives.

“The achievements or possessions we gain in this world can’t buy a ticket to eternal life. So, the short time we have on earth should be used to glorify Christ. The lyrics of the song ‘Surrender’ by Vineyard mean a lot to me. They say, ‘I’m singing You this song. I’m waiting at the cross. All the world holds dear, I count it all as loss.’”

 “It’s reassuring for me to know that I follow a God who is in control…”

How surrendering applies to me as an athlete: “Surrendering to God is something I have to consciously do on a game-to-game basis. Sometimes you are going to be playing hard and playing well but still not getting the results you want. I’m beginning to realize that I can only play as hard as I can and play to my potential every night. When I do that, I just have to surrender the results to Christ. As a Christian, that’s how I worship and glorify Him in sports.”

How surrendering applies to my life: “I was drafted by an NHL team a few years ago, so it would have been easy for me to really seek after and desire the fame and fortune that comes with being a professional athlete. But I’ve started to learn that I need to surrender my entire life and all of my desires to God and to follow Him wherever He leads. It’s reassuring for me to know that I follow a God who is in control of my life.”

About the Athlete
Career Highlights:
•Selected by the New York Islanders in fourth round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft
•Has played for the United States National Team Developmental Program since 2004
•Two-time Western Collegiate Hockey Association All-Academic Team
•2010 team-selected captain

Hometown: Huntington Beach, Calif.
Class: Senior
Position: Forward

FCA Involvement:
After connecting with FCA Hockey National Director Rick Randazzo and Colorado FCA Area Director Lee James, Rakhshani was inspired to start an FCA Huddle with his team. Currently, a group of Pioneers meets regularly with James for fellowship and Bible study.

Said Rakhshani: “Rick and Lee have encouraged me to bridge hockey with my walk with Christ and to develop a vision for my life as a Christian hockey player. It’s been an awesome experience meeting for Bible study with my teammates and talking about how to connect hockey and faith.”

FCA Staff Quote:
“Rhett’s willingness to serve both his teammates and coaches has made him a special person, player and follower of Jesus Christ. I have enjoyed getting to know him and watching his relationship with the Lord grow.” Rick Randazzo, FCA Hockey National Director

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Courtesy of Rich Clarkson & Associates/NCAA Photos
Bible Reference: 
Matthew 16