3-Week Series: Double Blessing


Summary: Heaven, Hell, two roads, the crowd


Matt 7: 13-14 (p 685) July 15, 2012


Douglas Corrigan became a legendary aviator, not because of his accomplishments as a pilot but rather because of a supposed navigational error. In 1938, Corrigan “Mistakenly” flew from New York to Ireland—when he was supposed to be flying from New York to California-because he seemingly misread his compass. For Americans, who were caught in the midst of the Great Depression, Corrigan’s antic provided a great deal of humor and uplift and he became a national folk hero. To this day, Corrigan’s nickname, “Wrong Way” Corrigan,” remains a stock colloquial phrase in popular culture. People us it to describe anyone who blunders and goes the wrong way, particularly in sporting events.

In fact…. (show the clip)

On January 1, 1929, the Golden Bears faced the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at the Rose bowl in Pasadena, California, USA. Midway through the second quarter, Riegels, who played center, picked up a fumble by Tech’s Jack “Stumpy” Thomason. Just 30 yards away from the Yellow Jackets’ end zone, Riegels was somehow turned around and ran 69 yards in the wrong direction.

Teammate and quarterback Benny Lom chased Riegels, screaming at him to stop. Known for his speed, Lom finally caught up with Riegels at California’s 3-yard line and tried to turn him around, but he was immediately hit by a wave of Tech players and tackled back to the 1-yard line. The Bears chose to punt rather than risk a play so close to their own end zone, but Tech’s Vance Maree blocked Lom’s punt for a safety, giving Georgia Tech a 2-0 lead.

Riegels was so distraught that he had to be talked into returning to the game for the second half. Riegels turned in a stellar second half performance, including blocking a Tech punt. Lom passed for a touchdown and kicked the extra point, but Tech would ultimately win the game-and their second national championship-be a final score of 8-7. The example of how the distraught Riegels was persuaded to pick himself up, return to the field and play so hard during the second half is sometimes used by motivational speakers to illustrate overcoming setbacks.

But there is a more modern “Wrong Way”. It involves Jim Marshall, who played for the Minnesota Vikings in the 1960’s…

During his time with the Minnesota Vikings, Marshall was involved in what is considered by many, including SI.com author John Rolfe, to be one of the most embarrassing moments in professional sports history. On October 25, 1964, in a game against the San Francisco 49ers, Marshall recovered a fumble and ran 66 yards with it the wrong way into his own end zone. Thinking that he had scored a touchdown for the Vikings, Marshall then threw the ball away in celebration. The ball landed out of bounds, resulting in a safety for the 49ers. Despite the gaffe, the Vikings won the game 27-22, with the final margin of victory provided by a Carl Eller touchdown return of a fumble caused by a Marshall sack. Marshall later received a letter from Roy Riegels, in famous for a wrong-way run in the 1929 Rose Bowl, stating. “Welcome to the club.”

I promise you Douglas Corrigan did not believe he was flying to the Ireland…nor, did he want Ireland to be his destination….

Roy Reigles and Jim Marshall believed they were headed for a touchdown…Reigles was stopped just short of the wrong end zone….Marshall made it in…threw the ball in celebration…and then learned the other team gained 2 points instead of his team gaining 7….

Welcome to the Club…!!!

Roy Reigles could have written that letter to every single one of us.

Jeff preached a sermon a few weeks ago from Prov. 14:12 which says…”There is a way that seems right to a man but in the end it leads to death”

Whether you believe or hope you’re running or flying in the right direction doesn’t really change the fact…Your Not!

Jesus is winding down the sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapter 7…He’s shared the beatitutudes…the attitudes of a blessed life…He’s talked about salt and light, fulfilling Dog’s law, Murder, adultery, divorce…Making a Vow, revenge, loving our enemies and giving to the needy, prayer, fasting, money, worry and judging others…

The last 3 stories: the narrow and wide gate, the Good & Bad fruit, and the wise and foolish builders all have something in common…

1 way is right…and the other way is wrong…Jesus entire point is…Make sure you choose the right way…Make absolutely sure you’re headed in the right direction…

Scripturally Jesus puts up a sign so that we can know if we’re headed in the right directions or the wrong way..

Look for this identifying factor:


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