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Ever gone the wrong way?


Direction is an important life dynamic. Whether we're in a car or moving in a crowd or playing a board game we typically desire to have a destination in mind and seek to travel toward it. It's true of life too. None of us wants a dysfunctional compass.

The other day I saw video of a football player picking up a fumble and running the wrong way. Andre Parker of Kent State picked up a fumbled punt by Towson State and ran it 58 yards in the wrong direction. it didn't change the outcome of the game because the play was nullified by a rule at the time that a fumbled punt couldn't be advanced. But, it was humorous. If you want to view it, you can go here.

Since childhood I'd heard about All-American college football player Roy "Wrong Way" Riegels running the wrong way during the 1929 Rose Bowl, when his University of California Berkeley Golden Bears faced the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Tech won the game 8-7 with the winning margin begin provided by a safety after Riegels own players tackled him on the one yard line and then blocked the Tech punt out of the end zone. The game was broadcast nationally on radio.

Some of us remember when Jim Marshall, a defensive end for the Minnesota Vikings, picked up a San Francisco Forty Niners fumble and ran it 66 yards into the Forty Niner end zone for a safety, October 25, 1964. Many consider it the most embarrassing play in professional football history.

Riegels recovered and became a noted motivational speaker. Marshall later retired and is remembered as one of the most durable and effective defensive players in the professional ranks. Not sure where Parker is today, but he's in the record books as one of the modern players to go the wrong way. He's a YouTube phenom.

it is interesting to watch the video and read the accounts of these football players being turned around. One of the things that stand out in them is the way their own teammates tried to turn them around and reverse their direction. They each depicted in very vivid word pictures and video how church people should function in our spiritual care and ministry of one another. Paul explained this role when he wrote---

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should

restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be

tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Galatians 6:1-2, ESV

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one

another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with

thankfulness in your hearts to God.

Colossians 3:16, ESV

Maybe when one of us starts going the wrong way, our teammates will tackle us and bring us to our senses or scream at us from the sidelines before our turn around costs us something.

Just saying...


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