Evangel: Last year the Lord called you to lead the Vikings
through a spectacular season as the starting quarterback. This year
He is asking you to lead in a different way.
Cunningham: It has been different to be in the back and
be the quiet person, but the encouraging person at the same time.
Sometimes it has the same impact as some of the things that I did
on the field. If people hear an encouraging word it can change their
whole mood from negative to positive. Even though I study my plays
and do as much as I can, I know I have to do more. Being kind to
people and patting them on the back when they really need it, or
searching for the one guy who is having a downtime and lifting him
up is very important.
Evangel: As a role model, would you say this has been an
opportunity for you to be a light for Christ?
Cunningham: Yes. There have been people who have come to
me and really encouraged me. God is so amazing how He sends people
to encourage me and say, "The way you handle the situation of being
put on the bench gracefully really encourages me."
I dont know everything that God is going to do in my life,
but I know that in everything that I do, I have to be humble about
it. I have to be a servant. It really doesnt matter what you
want to do; it matters what is in your spirit. What was in my spirit
is to make sure that I am patient and able to persevere.
Evangel: Do you look forward to playing again?
Cunningham: I pray for [starting quarterback] Jeff George
to stay healthy. I dont want to see him get hurt. At the same
time I pray that whenever it is Gods timing for me, if He
needs me, that I will be prepared. I prepare in the same way I did
as the starter, staying focused and making sure that my life is
in right standing with God off the field and on the field. That
is what allows me to be calm with myself.
Evangel: How can you praise God in a situation that is difficult?
Cunningham: Ive got a couple Scriptures right here
that I was reading last night. The Bible says in Philippians 4:4:
"Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice." Then in
1 Thessalonians 5:18 it talks about rejoicing in all circumstances:
"Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is Gods will for
you in Christ Jesus" (NIV). Pretty awesome.
Evangel: What have you learned from this experience?
Cunningham: Your circumstances develop your character. When
no one is looking, thats who we really are. When I go through
the things that Im going through right now, I ask God to give
me wisdom in it. Because in this season, so many trials have come
my way that all I can do is be patient and persevere through it.
I know theres a blessing that comes in the end.