There's room for hope after failure
Published 3:18 am Monday, October 11, 2004
If you read last week's article, you may remember the "pathway of failure" that sometimes we encounter in life. Today, I'd like to pick up where I left off with that idea and write just a few more thoughts on the subject. None of us like to mess up. But we all do it sooner or later, and quite frankly, I'm still correcting some of my past mistakes.
In the 1929 Rose Bowl Tournament, a man named Roy Riegels made a terrible mistake that made him feel like one of the greatest failures ever to walk the face of this earth. The contest was between California and Georgia Tech, and California had just recovered a fumble. But somehow, in the impact of the scrimmage he began to run in the wrong direction, and what's worse, he ran like a champion! Fortunately, however, he was tackled by one of his own teammates.
At halftime the teams filed to their locker rooms to receive midway admonitions from their coaches. Roy found a dark corner and sat by himself, waiting for the coach's rebuke. But it never came. When it came time for California to return to the field, Roy Riegels remained on the bench. His coach, Clarence Price, walked over to where he sat and said, "Get up and finish the game, Roy, it's only half over." At first, teary-eyed Riegels refused to go back to the field, but the coach gently persuaded him to carry on. History tells us that Roy Riegels went back out and played harder than he had ever played before in his life.
If you're feeling something a bit like Roy, just remember that you have a Savior whose name is Jesus Christ. He's your coach, gently reminding you that wherever you've been, whatever you've done, the game's not over yet. Let me tell you about another player in the game named Simon Peter who messed up much worse than Roy Riegels. It was the night before Jesus was to be put to death. Jesus had told Peter that he would deny Him-three times. "No, not me, Lord!" Peter insisted. But before the night was over, not only had Peter denied Him thrice, but on the third denial, he had done so with a curse. He was immediately grief-stricken that He had denied knowing His loving Savior, and at His life's darkest hour. After Jesus' death, he came back to life just three days later, as He had promised. And when he met up with Simon Peter in the "Locker Room," you would think that Jesus would have sat Peter out "the rest of the game" wouldn't you? But He didn't. Peter was ready to give up three years of training to go back to His old trade, feeling a complete failure because of a serious mistake. But not only did Jesus give Peter another opportunity, He also gave Him the privilege of leading His Church, after He ascended back into heaven!
Perhaps this is where you stand today. If so, all you have to do is confess your sins and failures to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and commit your life to Him. He'll give you another opportunity. If He'll do it for Simon Peter, He'll do it for you!