Hope Athletes’ Journal: Jason Beckman


        My name is Jason Beckman, and I am a senior on the Hope College men’s basketball team.  I was a bit weary at first to open up and let a more vulnerable side of me show to readers here on the Hope Athletes’ Journal, but I think it’s “about time people start sharing who they really are, rather than what we think people want us to be,” as my friend Steve Binnig told me.  So, without further ado, here is a deeper look into the guy behind that jersey with the number one.
Jason in action at Devos Fieldhouse.
To be honest with you, I had first written a pretty concise, neatly packaged story that painted me in a favorable light. But it wasn’t good enough because it wasn’t the “real Jason.” So I scrapped it.  The real Jason is WACK. Legitimately messed-up. Like, I don’t think many people would want to be friends with the real Jason. I’ve made a ton of mistakes, and I’ve often missed the mark. There have been times when I’ve been impatient, unkind, and downright terrible to people, especially my closest friends and family.  I’ve often tried to mask my fear of rejection and fear of failure with addictions of the flesh, like hyperactivity in my schedule, lust and impurity, and putting on a mask that “everything’s cool.” That’s wack. I’ve been fake a lot of times, showing most people the better me. I’ve often been a dude I’m not, and I apologize for not being consistent with the way I act and treat people.  The real Jason is often too short-tempered, too selfish, and often ignores the real needs of those around him. I’ve fallen short, and I’ve truly been a disappointment in myself at times. The real Jason has been imperfect, but I think this has been the best realization I could possibly come to.         Over the course of my 23 years, I’ve begun to realize that on my own, I’m pretty piss-poor at living what I see as a “noble life.” I’m messed up on my own, but actually that’s the beauty of it.  I believe that in my weakness, in my failures, and in my dirt, my Lord Jesus is rejoicing. The fact is that I have realized my weakness is cause for joy, because it points me to the only true source of perfection.  The only solution for my human insufficiency is divine intervention from God Almighty, in the form of his son Jesus. And as cliche as it may sound, I find peace in my brokenness. I know that Jesus is bringing new wine out of this old, broken-down, wacked-out wineskin.  Praise the Lord! I rejoice in the fact that I know this battle is no longer mine: Jesus conquered death and He conquered my biggest mistakes. Thank you God! So, I’m good because He is good. This realization crushes that mask that the fake Jason has often put on and relieves me of the stresses of the flesh.  I’m good, and SO ARE YOU! Praise Jesus.         All of this said, I’m sure that some of you reading this feel a lot like me.  “Sure man, I know Jesus saved me (or maybe you don’t, that’s okay too. I’m right here with you!) and I know I’m good, but right now I feel like garbage.  I messed up again, and I don’t know if I can get back up.” To you, I’m extending my hand.  Extending my hand to help you up, and extending my arm to wrap around you.  I’ve been there, and I will likely be there again. I don’t have this figured out in any way, shape, or form, but I know that we are in this together. This crazy thing we call life is going to hit us all in the teeth and going to make fools of all of us.  In these valleys, I believe that we, as a Hope College athletic community, need to bond together and embrace our imperfections. We need to  stop putting on this fake persona of “nice” and stop leading people on that ‘everything’s good.’ We need to stop trying to look good on the outside and to live into the ways that we are all broken. It is only in this brokenness that God can receive the glory He is due. And then, when we find those mountaintops together and we reach our pinnacle, it’s going to taste that much sweeter, knowing that we had a brother and sister next to us who got us there, who spurred us on, and who saw us as we really are.  Bringing Jesus glory in both the hills and the valleys — that’s what my true dream is for Hope College.         Lastly, I need all of you reading this to know how amazing God has fashioned you to be.  No matter where you are now, He has called you and me both to more. More love, more patience, and more HOPE.  We each have a unique set of talents, gifts, abilities, and a unique identity. Let’s embrace who we really are and who we are made to be. YOU ARE AMAZING! Believe that, no matter how far you are from your “amazing.” It’s coming! Jesus promises that. It seems to me that it’s a waste of time to try to be anyone else at this point, so be and do you with all the gifts and forgiveness God has given you.  Embracing our differences in a community of encouragement is how we are really going to make an impact on this campus. Let’s push each other to each of our AMAZINGs with the help of Jesus.         Finally, please know that whatever you have done or whatever you will do, and wherever you are at, you are in good company: Number one on your men’s basketball team can be a damn fool too.  Praise the Lord. In my weakness, He is made strong. — THE HOPE ATHLETES’ JOURNAL MISSION STATEMENT The mission of the Hope Athletes’ Journal is to provide Hope College student-athletes with a platform to express their challenges and joys in order for coaches, peers, prospective students, and fans to relate to, understand, and appreciate their stories beyond their games. This project, initiated by Stephen Binning ’19, encourages and invites Hope student-athletes to write vulnerable, principled, honest, and respectful stories that ultimately knit our college even closer together. If you or someone you know has a story that could be shared on the Hope Athletes’ Journal, please reach out to Lindsey Engelsman (engelsman@hope.edu) or Eva Dean Folkert (folkert@hope.edu). If you or someone you know is in need of help, here are some resources both on and off campus: Hope College Office of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS): 616-395-7945 Hope College Campus Ministries: 616-395-7145 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673