If any element of life is most commonly used as an analogy for the Christian's journey towards intimacy with Christ, it has to be running. Even the apostle Paul used the popular greek marathon as an example of what he set out to do as a messenger of the Jesus message. So it is perfectly fittig that a decalthlete who has journeyed both highs and lows would write a book of faith based on his life experiences. Bryan Clay may not quite be a household name in the scheme of sports heros, but if you are looking for one- he has the credentials both on and off the field to back it up. Growing up in Hawaii may see like it would be 'paradise' but for Clay his childhood and adolecence was a battle of wills with his contant search for identitiy. A God fearing and prayer warrior of a mother with other adult coaches and mentors along the way, Clay rose from what could have been a life long battle of worth to the highest sporting stage in the world- winning a gold medal at the olympics for what is often defined as the 'hardest sport in the world'. Conquering 10 track and field events over the course of 48 hours is daunting, but it is nothing compared to the marathon of life and training to prepare you for that one moment.
Brian Clay's story "Redemption" written with Joel Kilpatrick seamlessly forms the earthly battle to be faster, higher, and stronger with the spiritual battle for Clay's heart. I loved how the story unfolded with appropriate and timely breaks to tie it into a faith based lesson. The analogies of life experiences incorporated into verses of challenge and encouragement for any person (athlete or not) to continue on the race they are running for Christ.
The book is well written, as if you are having an intimate and casual sit down with the champion himself. His humility and humanity are evident as he reminisces on the events of his life and sport that have come to define who he is and why he does it. It was also an easy and fast read for even someone who may not understand sport.
I find that this book would be an excellent tool to use with a goup of young christian atheletes. It would also be a great tool for outreach as the faith story is so perfectly woven and does not feel preachy. I would suggest using this book as a bible study tool with young people becasue it could easily be taken further Bibically. A great book and great read, especially if you enjoy olympic sports and the tales of what it takes to get there.
I recieved a copy of "Redemption" from Thomas Nelson and Book Sneeze in return for an honest review.