Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Devotion for today: Success is not usually luck

Scripture for meditation: Ephesians 6:13-17
Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;]in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

And now for our weekly devotional sports story:

Some people succeed because they are destined to, but most succeed because they are determined to: There once was a Louisville University quarterback who dreamed of playing pro football. Upon graduation, however, no pro team drafted him. So he wrote to several teams and finally got an opportunity to try out for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He gave his best effort, but wasn’t chosen. His friends said, “You got a raw deal…it wasn’t meant to be…I guess it’s time to hang up your cleats.” But the young athlete didn’t give up. He continued to knock on doors and write letters. Finally, he received another invitation. But again, he didn’t make the team. Most people would have given up long before this point, but not him. He was fanatic about his personal dream. From his early days of playing sandlot football, he had been obsessed with this goal. So, patiently and persistently, he continued to pursue try out opportunities. Finally, he was invited to try out for the Baltimore team…and he made the third string! Through training and many hours of drills and fitness building, he worked his way up to be being starting quarterback. Indeed, he became one of the greatest quarterbacks ever to play in the NFL. The dreamer’s name? Johnny Unitas.  Keep driving until you arrive at your goal line! (God’s Little Devotional Book, Honor Books Inc., 1995)

 My thoughts: If you are a football fan, you certainly tuned into the New Orleans Saints/ San Diego Chargers game on Sunday night. Drew Brees broke the long standing record set by Johnny Unitas for most consecutive games throwing at least one touchdown pass. Here, in our story, we meet our man Johnny doing everything humanly possible to reach his goal, and his plan is the one we should follow to get to our goal line…crossing into heaven. 1) Have the dream of spending eternal life in heaven. 2) In the face of setbacks along the way, create a new game plan. If you feel you constantly fail in getting close to God, explore new ways to pray, study, and show mercy. 3) Ignore nay sayers who tell you there is no need to strive for heaven. People today will tell you that everyone makes the heaven team, so why worry, or that there isn’t a heaven team to make, so why bother? Take it from the saints, there is a heavenly team, and not everyone gets on it. 3) Be patient and persistent. Pray every day and in your prayer let God know how much you love Him and want to spend eternity with Him. Then tell Him to do His will with your life. 4) Spend hours in drills and fitness training. Life for those seeking a close relationship with God is tough in today’s societies. Christian persecution is raging throughout the world. You will feel it, too, if you speak the truth and live a life exemplifying God’s standards. So be tough. Be strong. Know your faith. Build your spiritual muscles so that when the devil tries to defeat you, you can fight back. I sat in front of Johnny Unitas one Sunday at Mass in Baltimore. What a thrill to turn around at the handshake of peace and see such a sports hero behind me. He had his head bowed in humble prayer, and when he looked up, he gave me a sincere smile. Walk humbly with your God, and you will be a hero on God’s team, the only team that really matters. May Johnny’s soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Prayer: A morning prayer
Good morning Lord! Thank you for this beautiful day! Thank you for waking me up and giving me another chance at life. Thank you for all the gifts you have given to me: for you are my King, my Lord, my God and my All, and I will love you forever and ever. I love you, Jesus my Love; I love you with all my heart. I repent of ever having offended you. Never permit me to separate myself from you again. Grant that I may love you always, and then do with me as you will. Amen

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