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NEVER GIVE UP

Haddon Robinson tells the following story. I hope you appreciate it as I did.

It was New Year’s Day, 1929, and Georgia Tech. and UCLA were battling it out in the Rose Bowl. Georgia Tech. fumbled the football late in the first half. Roy Riggles recovered for California. Picking up the fumbled ball, Riggles became confused and ran 65 yards in the wrong direction. Benny Lorn, another UCLA player managed to tackle his teammate before he scored for Tech. Now, with the ball deep in Georgia Tech. territory, UCLA was forced to punt. The punt was blocked, and Tech. scored a safety, which, as it turns out, was the margin of victory for the Yellow Jackets.

Riggles went into the locker room at half-time a very dejected young man. He sat down in a corner, head in hands, and cried like a baby. UCLA’s coach, Nibbs Price, said little in the locker room that day, perhaps not knowing what to say. Finally, just before leaving the locker room to return to the field, Coach Price said, "Men, the same team that played the first half will start the second."

The players headed for the field, all but Riggles. "Roy, didn’t you hear me? The same team that started the first half will start the second."

"Coach," he said, "I can’t do it. I’ve ruined you. I’ve ruined the University of California. I’ve ruined myself. I couldn’t face the crowd in the stadium to save my life." Then Coach Price put his hand on Riggle’s shoulder and said. "Roy, get up and go on back. The game is only half over." Riggles returned to the game and played like he’d never played before.

I’m not a big football fan, and not terribly impressed with the conduct of most coaches today, but I like Nibbs Price. He gave Roy Riggles a second chance, and Riggles made the most of it. He may have wanted to quit, but he couldn’t and Coach Price knew it!

All of us have run the wrong direction at one time or another, and God knows it. But His message is the same. Don’t give up. get back in the game. What’s done is done. We cannot live in the past. Let’s put our mistakes behind us and go on to finish he game.

Paul wrote: "...this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:13, 14). We would do roll to follow his example.

Never give up!

by Roger Rush, Marietta, Ohio