Devotional: TALE OF TWO PLAYERS

The football game between Army and tiny Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania, November 9, 1912 was a classic. Carlisle’s classes only went to the twelfth grade, but many of their Indian students were in their twenties. The football players were too rough for high school games, so they played major colleges.

Before the November 9 game, Army was ranked second in the nation. But that was before Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle team trounced them with a 27 to 6 score. Thorpe shook off three burly tacklers and bulled his way over for the first touchdown. He passed for another touchdown and returned a ninety-yard punt for another. The ninety-yard run was called back on a penalty and Army kicked again. This time Thorpe merely ran ninety-five yards for a score. Thorpe was never headed, not even by an Army halfback named David who later became famous in another field.

Thorpe died in 1953. His death ended a long nightmare of drinking, bumming about the country, family troubles, injuries and illnesses. For his athletic prowess he was honored by kings and acclaimed by sports judges as “the greatest athlete in American history.” He could perform almost any feat except control himself.

And the Army halfback who played against Thorpe in the 1912 game? He became a general in the United States in 1952, one year before Thorpe died. His name: Dwight David Eisenhower.

Temperance, discipline and self control are elements that the Lord requires of each one of us as we live the Christian life. It is not so much a matter of self-control as it is GOD-CONTROL. With His help, our lives can be disciplined for His glory.

The Apostle Paul, divinely inspired wrote: “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” Titus 2:11-14 NIV

Your Friend in Christ,
Max E Smith
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