Surrendering to Jesus Christ changes lives. There’s no denying it. Psychologists and sociologists might try to reduce Christian conversion to a function of the brain or an act of will. Atheists might write it off as a delusion.
But those who experience Christian conversion know it’s real. And they know they’ll never be the same because of it.
Take the case of PGA golfer Grayson Murray, who three years ago got tangled up in a PGA Tour discipline incident in Honolulu. He then jumped on social media to criticize the PGA for not helping him with when it came to his drinking, according to ESPN. Simply put, Murray was miffed because his career was stalled.
On Sunday, Murray was back in Honolulu where he sunk a 40-foot birdie to win the Sony Open after a 3-way playoff, according to ESPN.
What changed? Murray hadn’t had a PGA win since 2017. He had almost given up on himself, on the PGA, and on life. But he didn’t. In an interview after the win, Murray said, “When you get tired of fighting, let someone else fight for you.” Murray was talking about Christ.
When asked about the work he put in off of the playing field to battle his alcohol-fueled demons, Murray said, “Jesus Christ is first and foremost. Without Him, none of this would be possible. And He’s just given me a platform to write a new story, write my own story. ”
The win allows Murray to play in the U.S. Open, The Players and the PGA Championship. When asked how impactful the win was for his career, Murray said, “It’s a lot for my career.” But for Murray, his career is no longer the center of his life.
“I knew today was not going to change my life,” Murray continued. “My fiance changed my life. Jesus Christ changed my life. Today wasn’t going to change my life. But it did change my career a little bit.”
Writing a new story.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) January 15, 2024
Murray had grown tired of alcohol making him feel like a failure. He had been sober for eight months before Sunday’s win, according to ESPN. Christianity renewed him, and he’s now committed to marrying the woman who became a big part of his recovery.
Before all this happened, Murray thought he was on top of the world. And then he hit rock bottom.
Murray, now 30, won the IMG Junior World titles in 2006, 2007 and 2008, according to the PGA. He was only 16 when he made the cut on the Korn Ferry Tour — the second youngest to do so. At 19, he played in the U.S. Open at Merion in 2013. Life was a party.
The party got too big and too long. Two years ago, Murray knew he was in over his head and spent a month at Hazelden Betty Ford in Minnesota, according to the PGA.
“After treatment, I got out and did pretty well for a while,” Murray said. “Like everyone, you think you can get back to having a couple. It just was a slippery slope, and I got back in it.”
By fall 2022, “a couple” turned into a lot more, and soon enough Murray had crashed a rented scooter into oncoming traffic at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship. The injuries required 50 stitches, around half of them to his face.
“I should have died,” Murray said. “If I didn’t have my helmet on, I probably would have died. It should have been my rock bottom, but I had to keep going. I felt like I was still invincible.”
Last April, Murray got a dose of kryptonite. Still able to leverage his status as the winner of the 2017 Barbasol Championship, Murray shot an impressive first-round 68 in Vallarta, Mexico. Instead of resting up for the early tee-time of the second round the next day, Murray opted to celebrate.
“I went out to the pool,” he said, “played pool volleyball, and I had too many and woke up the next day before my round and started to chug some alcohol before the round just to get rid of the jitters. And I got out there and shot like 80. I got home and had an anxiety attack that lasted four days; it was the worst feeling ever.”
“I did not want to go through that ever again,” he continued, “and that was the last time I had a drink. I would have rather been dead, those four days. I just kind of locked myself in my room and didn’t tell my parents or anything. It was bad. It was really, really bad.” Rock bottom.
Now, eight months sober, Murray knows there will be more hard days ahead. He knows that he’ll need help from his family and especially his faith, according to the PGA. He is willing to atone for his past sins. He is a changed man. And he’s back on his game.
Without family and faith, who knows what dark place Murray might be?
“When you get tired of fighting, let someone else fight for you.” Words of wisdom, as long as that somebody is Jesus Christ.
Psychologists, sociologists and atheists can speculate about the cause of Murray’s turn to Christ, but they’ll never understand it unless they surrender to Christ themselves.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.