One professional football player is leaving behind his million-dollar salary and hanging up his football cleats for good. Instead, he’s getting in the game and putting on the helmet of salvation to pursue full time ministry.

Indianapolis Colts safety Khari Willis is retiring after three seasons of playing for the NFL.

In a post on Instagram, Willis thanked the NFL, the Indianapolis Colts organization, his teammates and coaches for giving him the opportunity to compete at football’s highest level.

Then, he explained his decision to retire.

“With much prayer and deliberation, I have elected to officially retire from the NFL as I endeavor to devote the remainder of my life to the further advancement of the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” Willis wrote.

“I thank all of my family, friends and those who have supported me on this journey thus far and I look forward to your continued support through the next phase of my life. I am both humbled and excited to pursue the holy call that God has for my life which brings me much joy and purpose,” he added.

In a statement, Head Coach Frank Reich gave his thoughts on Willis’ retirement.

“We’re thankful and appreciative of Khari’s contributions to the Colts both on and off the field over the last three seasons,” Reich said.

“Khari’s character, leadership, and professionalism will be missed in our locker room as will his play on Sundays. I admire and respect his decision to transition into the next stage of his life and ministry and my prayers will always be with him.”

We congratulate Khari and wish him God’s blessing on his future ministry.

At the same time, we thank Khari for reminding us of something so easily forgotten in our nation: There are things that are worth far more than fame and money.

It was Christian missionary Jim Elliot who wrote, “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

“Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:20-21 ESV).

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Photo from Reuters.