Walk On Audiobook Interview – Ben Malcolmson

December 6, 2018

Ben Malcolmson Audiobook Interview - Walk On

We had the pleasure of catching up with Ben Malcolmson, Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll’s assistant. The audio can be played below. Enjoy!


ANNOUNCER:

Welcome.  You’re listening to an exclusive author interview from Christian Audio dot com.

VICKI MORGAN:

Hi and welcome to the conversation. It’s not every day we get to hear from a famous Rose Bowl Alumni football player who got in the game by accident. But, because God had a plan, Ben Malcolmson, the 165 pound pee-wee journalist, somehow wound up on the football field. You wouldn’t think God could do anything with Ben … not in football anyway. He was teased by his teammates, rejected by his coaches and injured so badly it’s a wonder he could still get around. But he got around alright, and eventually he became one of the most famous underdog, walk-on players of all time. But all that was a small part of what God wanted to do through Ben Malcolmson. It was bigger than football, and it ended up being worth all the humiliation, rejection and pain.  So if you ever wonder whether if you’re doing what God designed you to do, Ben’s new audiobook Walk On will help you trust in the Lord through the tough times, even when you don’t understand what His underlying plan is. Ben, thank you so much for joining us on Christian Audio dot com.

BEN MALCOLMSON:

My pleasure Vicky. It’s good to be with you.

VICKI MORGAN:

In Walk On, you ask your listeners whether they are everything God designed them to be. My question to you is, “Aren’t we already who God designed us to be?”

BEN MALCOLMSON:

That’s a great question. I think that God has this amazing plan for all of us and that it’s the sanctification process. He’s forgiven us and accepted us for who we are. But he loves us so much that he wants to make us into who we’re truly meant to be. And there’s nothing we have to do to earn it or anything, we just have to continue to follow Him and continue to give our lives to Him. And, we go on this amazing journey of purpose and transformation in that process.

VICKI MORGAN: 

And that’s exactly what you did in your audiobook. I loved just following you through this really incredible journey. So, let me just go back to that first question. How do we distinguish a no answer and  the discontent that Paul warns us about?

BEN MALCOLMSON: 

Oh man, we’re getting deep here. I love it. This is awesome, Vicki. [Laughs] I think that’s a journey that we’re all on for the rest of our lives. And I think we know … just because we’re called to an amazing purpose here on this earth, that when were off the train tracks a little bit — when we’re off the way that God designed us — we know. We’re probably the only ones who truly do know deep down in our hearts and our souls that there’s something else out there for me.

BEN MALCOLMSON:

And then from there I think it’s just knowing that, okay, I’m not where God wants me to be right now. So God show me the way. Lead me on Your path and really it’s just step-by-step from there. He’s not going to show us the end result, I think, for our good in a lot of ways — as far as it can be. But just to take those steps toward becoming who we’re truly meant to be, day after day.

VICKI MORGAN: 

If I were getting banged up on the field like you were and having gone [through] everything you were going through, I would say to myself, “Wait a minute. Maybe God doesn’t want me here.” So do you think that we should base our perceptions of God’s calling on what we’re going through, or on our emotions — like how we feel about what’s happening to us at the present time? Or is there something deeper than that that we need to focus on?

BEN MALCOLMSON: 

Yeah, I think that’s a great question because we face discouragement every day. We face opposition. We face adversity every day. And if we just went based on how we’re feeling that day, or whatever direction the wind is going — I don’t know if we really [laughs] find much fulfillment or much peace in life if we’re just getting blown and tossed by the wind. So, it’s really knowing who you are, finding that rock-solid foundation to build your house on — on Jesus. And then living life from there and not letting discouragement, adversity, and challenges knock you off course. Which is easier said than done, obviously, because we all face discouragement every day that it makes us question and makes us doubt, “Are we really on the right path?” But when you’re building your house on that Rock of Jesus but you know deep down inside that circumstances don’t dictate what’s going on in reality. So just keep your eyes on Jesus and keep taking those steps.

VICKI MORGAN: 

I love the scripture that you put in the beginning of every single chapter — it’s really encouraging. Particularly this one, “The Lord said to me, ‘Do not say I am too young. You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you.’” But that was said to Jeremiah. And nobody listened to Jeremiah.

BEN MALCOLMSON: 

[Laughs] Yeah, well, I think we all face those situations every day where we feel like no one’s listening to us. And Jeremiah went through a lot of storms in life. And I think we can all relate to him in that regard. So, yeah, this is just an amazing opportunity to just trust God, and to really trust that his Word is true and He’s just always faithful to his promises.

VICKI MORGAN: 

And you are kind of like the modern-day Jeremiah of a football field. Your story is amazing. You are like God’s underdog who’d been sent to save someone — and I won’t do the spoiler — but you were sent to save someone that God knew was going to die young. And even though it was God’s plan, you went through so much trial by fire, literally getting injured to the point where you were kicked off the team. And then you were begging to get back on and nobody wanted to let you back on. And God really let you get beat up.

BEN MALCOLMSON: 

Oh, He sure did. I had a shoulder injury. I had to get surgery to reconstruct my shoulder. And it was pretty brutal. I went through a lot of spiritual pain, too. I was trying to find my purpose and just felt like everything I was doing was failing. And it was very challenging.

VICKI MORGAN: 

I wonder if God needed to put you through that fire because of your perfectionism. You admitted that you were a perfectionist — that you felt like you could do things better than anyone else. I really want you to talk about the damage of thinking that you’re more perfect than others. Even if you are more perfect than others, what is the damage of living your life that way?

BEN MALCOLMSON: 

Well, the problem with trying to be perfect is that it’s impossible. And so if we’re just living life, trying to be perfect — that you’re going to fail. And then you just get buried. And so I think a lot of times perfectionism can be great because you become really motivated and really driven to achieve a lot of goals and to do a lot of cool things. But there’s a lot of times when it destroys you because it just crushes your self-esteem, and just crushes your sense of identity, and crushes your sense of just being a child of God — that everything we have is a gift from God and we’ve received by grace, and we don’t earn anything. And this perfectionism, in a lot of ways, for me — it turned into performance-based living. And I don’t think God wants us to just live like that because everything that He’s given us is truly a gift. And so, yeah, I’ve learned a lot. And it’s still something that I continue to learn to this day of just being free from that perfectionism. And it’s a journey for sure.

VICKI MORGAN: 

And I wonder how many of us, being perfectionists, even when we have victories in our lives, we can’t celebrate them because we aren’t where God wants us to be. You want to talk about that a little bit?

BEN MALCOLMSON: 

Oh, totally. And I think when we base our identity and when we base our fulfillment off of what we’re doing, I think we’re missing the point. Because it’s never really about what we’re doing, it’s about who we’re becoming, and who God wants us to become. And it’s about the person that we’re becoming instead of the person who’s just producing things, and making things, and trying to fill this hole in our hearts. Where, instead, God says, “No. I’ve got this person that I’m molding you into. You’re becoming more and more like Jesus every day.” And when we get distracted, with, “Man, I need to get a better title, or I need to achieve more, or make more” — whatever it may be — we get distracted. And we get knocked off course a little bit because God cares more about who we are than what we’re doing.

VICKI MORGAN: 

So, where God wanted you to be wasn’t necessarily based on your raw talent or skill. It was based on something completely different.

BEN MALCOLMSON: 

And that’s the beautiful thing about this story is that in terms of the football, I had zero raw talent and zero skill. And so God was showing me all along that, “I’m the one that’s put you here for a reason. And I’m going to provide what you need for this.” And I think that was the liberating thing. And so it’s helped me, the rest of my life, that no matter what skills I have or what raw talent I have — which, in the end, are gifts from God anyway. But regardless of that, it doesn’t matter what you have or what you don’t have because more importantly, it’s the character that you have, the person in Christ that you are. That Jesus uses way more than any skills or talents that we have.

VICKI MORGAN: 

Well, let’s talk to the person who wants to just give up and quit. Whatever they’re doing — they know God’s called them to do it — but they just want to give up and quit. You were, literally, humiliated by your teammates more than once. Your coach kept blowing you off after you got injured. You were rejected. All seemed lost. What is that it that kept you persevering against all odds — and, frankly, against your sanity, as well?

BEN MALCOLMSON: 

[Laughs] Well, from the moment I made the football team, I had this deep sense that I was there for a purpose. And that really was something that carried me through. And I think that is something that I’ve carried with me for the rest of my life, and hopefully onward — that, when we have a sense of purpose that’s from God, we can overcome challenges, and storms, and adversity because we know that God is with us. That He has an end goal in mind. And it’s not only for our own sake so that we can get through the challenges, but it’s also for the sake of the people around us to really impact those lives and to point people to Him, and hopefully save some lives, too. It’s so powerful when you have a sense of purpose and when you have a sense of God’s calling on your life — which we all do. It’s not like some people do and some people don’t. But all of us have an incredible purpose God has put us on this earth for. And when we grab hold of that, it allows us to overcome those challenges in really, really powerful ways.

VICKI MORGAN: 

Let’s talk about Coach Kiffin. He was a hard-nose. And he said, “You will not be babied. Do not be sensitive. I am not here to be your friend.” And then he added, “Why am I here? To take you to where you cannot take yourself.” So even though he wasn’t nice at first, and he was kind of a jerk at first, that must have had a profound effect on your ability to stick it out.

BEN MALCOLMSON: 

Oh, without a doubt because we all need people in life that are going to push us. And whether it’s a mentor figure, a parent, a good friend, a family member — whoever it may be — we need someone to push us and to really show us that there’s more out there than we’re going to get to on our own. And we’re created to live in community. We’re created to live around each other, and really push each other, and rub off on each other, and rub off the rough edges. And we need each other. And so as uncomfortable as it may be to have that iron being sharpened by another person, it’s so good in the end.

VICKI MORGAN: 

You say, “Iron Sharpens Iron,” but you weren’t around a lot of Christians on that football team.

BEN MALCOLMSON: 

No, it felt like I was all alone. It felt like I was definitely on an island in a lot of ways. And I had to lean on my relationship with Jesus above all — which, whether I’m surrounded with community or not, I needed to do that. And that was vital for my health and my well-being in that time. And then, also leaning on the people around me outside of the football team. Obviously I spent a lot of time on that team. But I had a lot of good friends off the football team that really motivated me, and encouraged me, and poured truth into me during that time.

VICKI MORGAN: 

What gave you the courage to persist? I mean, aside from the fact that God told you He’s got a purpose for you. Was it the love of the game?

BEN MALCOLMSON: 

Well, it definitely wasn’t the love of the game because I played football in sixth grade and then quit. [Laughs] So I didn’t really like playing football at all. But being a part of that team really awakened my senses to the fact that God had me there for a reason bigger than myself. And it was bigger than just suiting up, and practicing, and being a part of a really cool football team. But it was an internal purpose and I was so dedicated to seeing that come to life.  And that was what really got me through all the ups and the downs, and the injuries, and the challenges spiritually and everything in between — was I knew I was there for a purpose. I just knew it. And I know that the people listening here right now — they probably have that sense, too. That, whether it’s in your workplace, or in your neighborhood, or at home, with your friend group — whoever it may be — feel this sense of purpose in your life that, “Why did God put me here? There’s got to be a reason.” And really, I think when we grab hold of that, it really takes us places. And it really allows us to overcome those challenges. It allows us, eventually, to partner with God in this incredible mission that He’s got us on.

VICKI MORGAN: 

And I noticed there are very few times in the audiobook that you actually say, “God, why me?” A lot of us go to that self-pity area. But the time that you did say, “Why me?” — it was because you were in incredible physical pain and you were just destroyed physically. But I also want you to talk about the one time that you asked yourself, “Why not me?” It’s the only time you said, “Why not me?” is when you were going to play that snap play.

BEN MALCOLMSON: 

[Laughs] Yeah, well, it’s just funny because just from day one I’d never intended to suit up and to be a part of that football team. It was never a dream of mine. I was just out there to write an article for the newspaper. And so that is pretty funny that [laughs] just the pit of self-pity versus that at the end. It’s just a crazy turn of events. And it just goes to show that God’s plans for us are far greater than anything we could plan for ourselves. And I look back and I’m so fortunate that not only did I get to live it then, but I get to continue to live it out now, and be able to share this story that has inspired and encouraged lots of people and hopefully continues through this podcast and beyond.

VICKI MORGAN: 

And it was God’s story because in the end He was really just after one soul. And, I don’t want to give it away, but it’s how God came in and used you to basically save one soul. Because nobody else would have done what you did on that football team. So, I really appreciate you taking time to be with us at Christian Audio. We’re going to promote your audiobook. And thank you for joining us today. You’ve been great to talk to and I hope you have a wonderful football season.

BEN MALCOLMSON: 

Thanks so much Vicki. God bless you and keep up the great work.

VICKI MORGAN:

Get your copy of Ben Malcolmson’s brand new audiobook, Walk On, at Christianaudio.com. You’re gonna love it. And we’ll even treat you to a free audiobook every month when you join our mailing list. I’m Vicki Morgan. Thanks for listening!

ANNOUNCER:

For over ten years christianaudio.com has been providing top-quality Christian audiobooks and audio Bibles. To learn more about the titles we discussed today or to learn how you can get a free audiobook every month, visit christianaudio.com. Thanks for listening!

By christianaudio

For over 10 years christianaudio has been providing top-quality Christian audiobooks and Bibles. We promote spiritual growth by inspiring Christians to think about God, themselves, and the world