Two years ago he was coming off a Super Bowl appearance with a $40 million dollar contract and a new baby. This week, instead of being with his team in Phoenix, preparing to play in Super Bowl XLIX, Aaron Hernandez is 2,600 miles away in a Massachusetts’ courtroom, facing a charge of murder. His trial began yesterday as prosecutors showed footage from his own home security system, which they believe connects him to the crime of murdering a friend.
By all appearances he had everything going for him. Now it appears he could wind up in prison for the rest of his life.
Sadly, even if he’s found not guilty of pulling the trigger in the shooting death of his former 27-year-old friend, Odin Lloyd, he could still be convicted of murder due to the “joint venture” law. (A Massachusetts’ statute that says someone can be convicted of murder even if they’re just involved in the act, but didn’t actually do the killing.) Aaron also faces charges for a double murder in Boston in 2012, a civil suit for shooting another friend in the face, and three additional firearms’ charges that carry years if he’s found guilty.
How did the former 25-year-old star tight end for the New England Patriots wind up in a mess like this?
Can you imagine what it will be like for Aaron Hernandez to sit in a cell Sunday night when the Super Bowl begins? What would be worse? Not being able to watch it? Or watching the Super Bowl, knowing he forfeited the privilege of experiencing every single thing he sees because of his own choices.
The real tragedy of this year’s Super Bowl won’t be the careless, air-less football controversy that preoccupied most of the media coverage preceding the game; or even the fact Aaron Hernandez will miss playing. The real tragedy might be millions of people, all over the world, who will watch the game completely oblivious to the fact the choices they’re making can deflate and destroy their dreams forever.
Choices today can change all your tomorrows. Don’t wait until you’re sitting in a cell somewhere or a prison of your own making to decide it’s time to make the right choices.
The Bible says, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.”
© 2015. Barry L. Cameron
Barry L. Cameron has been the Senior Pastor of Crossroads since 1992 when the church was averaging 188 in morning worship. Today, more than 8,000 people call Crossroads their church home. Pastor Cameron and his wife, Janis, have three children and two grandsons. He’s the author of the bestseller: The ABCs of Financial Freedom, Contagious Generosity, and The Financial Freedom Workbook. The Cameron family has been completely debt free since November 2001.