By Jerry Price
Retired Pastor, Spring Hill
The Jan. 3, 1955 issue of Sports Illustrated contains the story of one of the most unusual plays in football history. It occurred in the 1929 Rose Bowl between Georgia Tech and the California Golden Bears.
During the second quarter, with the game tied at 0 to 0, Roy Riegles picked up a Georgia Tech fumble and headed toward the Tech goal. But he got turned around and headed toward the Cal goal. His teammate, Benny Lom, finally caught him and tried to tackle him at the ten-yard line and finally brought him down at the three-yard line.
Riegles had made great progress — but he was running toward the wrong goal. The coach decided to punt the ball to get it away from his own goal line but it was blocked and bounced out of the end zone for a safety and a Tech lead of 2-0. Each team scored a touchdown during the remainder of the game which ended with a Georgia Tech win, 8-7.
In my 40 plus years in the ministry, I have seen that same thing played out in the lives of those who claim to be believers. I have no doubt that many of them are.
But like Roy Riegles, they have somehow gotten turned around in their thinking and headed toward the wrong goal.
In full disclosure, that was true of me in my younger years. My goal back then was to be the next Frank Lloyd Wright (a well-known architect) and to make enough money to make a bed of it to sleep in. Some goal, huh?
Fortunately, a friend helped me to see that I was headed in the wrong direction. I had to change my ultimate goal — from building buildings to building lives. I can truthfully say I have never regretted that decision.
The goal of a believer is godliness — not that which leads to material gain, but that which leads to true contentment. The greatest gain in life is to come to the realization that what we have from God is truly the best.
The world may offer its shiny “toys” but they pale in comparison to the riches that belong to those who depend on Christ for “life, breath, and all things” (Acts 17:25, NKJV). Financial wealth is “uncertain.”
Don’t believe it? Think of the stock market crash in 1929 when the market lost 25 percent of its value ($30 billion dollars) in four days. That’s equivalent to $396 billion today. Or even the roller-coaster ride it has been on in the last few weeks.
If you have a 401K or an IRA, it has taken a hit in the last few weeks. Mine has! One fellow half-jokingly said his 401K had become a 201K.
What is the corrective? Paul says we are to place our hope in God “who richly provides us with all things to enjoy … and to do what is good, to be rich in good works, to be generous, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good reserve for the age to come, so that they may take hold of life that is real” (I Tim. 17-18).
Jesus said it this way: “Don’t collect for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But collect for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6:19-21).