Story of the Day for Thursday January 19, 2012
Play Like a Wild Man
. . . Don’t you know that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?
The second half of the Rose Bowl had not yet begun before Roy Riegles sinned.
Riegles was an All-American defensive lineman for the University of California. He recovered a fumble and started to run with the ball. But, for reasons he could not later explain, he got turned around and started running in the wrong direction.
His coach, Nibs Price, could not believe what he was seeing! His teammates shouted furiously for him to stop. Benny Lom, a halfback, raced after him. After a 65 yard scamper, Lom caught him on the one-yard line. A few plays later, a punt from the end zone was blocked for a safety.
To say that Roy Riegles was discouraged in the locker room at half-time is to master the art of understatement. He was completely distraught. After his idiotic mistake, he had no intention of going back on the field for the second half. When coach Price told him he would start the second half, Riegles objected, “Coach, I can’t do it. I’ve ruined you. I’ve ruined myself. I’ve ruined the University of California.” He was too ashamed to face the crowd.
Coach Price knew that Riegles did not need a good chewing out. He needed comfort. The coach encouraged him and sent him back into the game in the second half.
And Riegles played his heart out. So much so, that, despite his huge mistake, he was later named to the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame.
Roy Riegles is the poster boy for all of us who commit sins which let our friends and family down. Which let ourselves down. Which let our Lord down.
What do we need at times like these? A good chewing out? You’ve experienced that, haven’t you? And it has left you ever more depressed.
Jesus wants to put his arm around your shoulder, and let you know it’s going to be okay.
But here is the thing that seems hard to understand, at times. If you comfort someone when they sin, and tell them Jesus forgives them, doesn’t that just give them an excuse to continue sinning?
Well, let me ask you this: Do you think coach Price’s comfort and encouragement at Roy Riegles blunder made him want to go out the second half and make more mistakes for his team?
No way. The coach’s kindness lifted Riegles up, and he played like a wild man in the second half.
God’s kindness does the same thing. It leads us to repentance. It fires us up to play the second half with renewed passion and enthusiasm.
(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)