Michael Phelps, a swimmer, has won more Olympic gold than any other athlete in history. Since his debut in the Sydney 2000 Olympics he has won a medal in every competition he has entered. It was not until the London 2012 Olympics that he came fourth in an event.
Michael had all the world could give him. He was young, fit, successful, famous, popular, well off… but in September 2014 he told ESPN “I was a train wreck”. He said he had lost all self-esteem and had no sense of self-worth. His life had taken a sharp turn off the tracks. There were times when he considered suicide.
That’s when his friend, NFL star Ray Lewis, pointed him to God. Lewis convinced Phelps to seek professional help and gave him a copy of Pastor Rick Warren’s book, ‘The Purpose Driven Life’. Phelps said reading that book dramatically changed his outlook and direction in life. “I started believing there is a power greater than myself, and there is a purpose for me on this planet.”
With the help he received in rehab and with God’s support which he received through a great Christian community, Michael is back on track. He competed with great success in the Rio 2016 Olympics, adding to his medal collection. But now Michael is also enjoying what the world cannot give him.
Pastor Michael Alfson
Ref: Kelsey Straeter from ‘Faith it’