No Need to Slow Down

Story of the Day for Thursday November 17, 2011

No Need to Slow Down

                    Let the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and the endurance of Christ. 

                                                             2 Thessalonians 3:5

Jim Marshall was a member of the Minnesota Vikings’ feared “Purple People Eaters” – one of the most intimidating defensive lines in the history of the NFL.

Defensive linemen average less than five years in the NFL. Yet, Jim Marshall started every game for the Vikings for an eleven year span – a total of 270 games, and retired at the age of 42.

Marshall has earned the right to speak about success. He has played in two Pro Bowls, has 127 quarterback sacks, and holds the NFL record with 30 recovered fumbles.


Jim Marshall has earned respect both on and off the field. He retired from football to become a licensed stock broker, a real estate agent, a life insurance agent, a licensed securities agent, the owner of a limo service, and a CBS sports commentator – to name a few of his business ventures.

In addition, Jim has volunteered countless hours working with civic and charitable groups. He helped create “Christmas for Kids,” establish a transportation company for the handicapped and elderly, and has helped with scholarship funds to send inner city kids to college. He has done volunteer work with the Special Olympics, The Ronald McDonald House, and The Children’s Miracle Network.

Jim Marshall is in demand as a motivating speaker for 3M, IBM, Chevron, Standard Oil, Pillsbury, United Way, Boy Scouts of America, among others.


In light of Jim Marshall’s enormous success in so many aspects of life, his message is ironic. He urges his audiences to find a direction and dedicate themselves to it.

Yet, Marshall is ruefully aware that the most embarrassing play of his football career happened when he followed his own advice.

In 1964, a running back for the San Francisco 49ers fumbled and Jim Marshall scooped up the ball. He sprinted for the end zone – he had found his direction and sprinted with all his might. Unfortunately, he ran the wrong direction. His 66-yard safety still stands in the record books as the longest play for negative yardage in NFL history.

When the season was over, he was scheduled to fly to Dallas to receive the “Bonehead of the Year” award, but missed his flight and ended up in Chicago. (He did, in the end, succeed in flying to Dallas to receive his coveted award.)


Finding a direction and dedicating yourself to it is a fine thing, I suppose, as long as we temper it with Ashley Brilliant’s perspective: “Maybe I’m lucky to be going so slowly, because I may be going in the wrong direction.”

When we let the Lord direct our hearts, he will lead us into his love and give us the endurance of Christ as our encouragement.

And, if we’re really heading in that direction, there’s no need to slow down.

(copyright by and by Marty Kaarre)