October 26, 2006 • By Clark Wrather
Today’s devotional was written by my son, Clark Wrather, who is the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Broken Bow, Oklahoma. The title and Scripture have been added.
Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that He has promised us - eternal life. - 1 John 2:24-25.
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. - Proverbs 22:6.
Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit Who dwells in us. - 2 Timothy 1:13-14.
Last Thursday, the Broken Bow Savage Football team suffered a terrible defeat. Despite trailing most of the game, the Savages had a drive - late in the fourth quarter that enabled them to briefly take the lead. With few seconds left in the game, the Pirates kicked a field goal and won the game by a margin of 23 to 21.
The game was a heartbreaker for those who were watching. You see, the Savages did not lose the game in the final seconds, but lost it in the first few minutes of the first quarter. The Savages had difficulty fielding a punt and a kickoff. Both times, the ball seemed like a greased pig and the Pirates recovered very close to the Broken Bow end zone. After both of these botched attempts to field a kick, Poteau scored a touchdown. Halfway through the first quarter, Poteau was ahead 14 to nothing.
After these to ‘gimmie’ touchdowns, the Pirates did not score another. Despite their best efforts the Savages shut them down in the red zone. The pirates did have an outstanding kicker who made three field goals during the course of the game. Yet, they were never able to punch it into the end zone for a touchdown after the two given to them in the first quarter.
There is something important you can learn from this game about most situations we experience in life. It is this: if you want things to end well, you must begin well. Think about your children. If you want them to turn into productive adults who have integrity, you must begin well when they are tiny, providing them love, security, discipline and when they are older the freedom to fail by their own decisions. The same principle is found in your job. If you begin a new job and must be kick-started to get you going, you are not going to be on the fast track to a promotion.
The same principle is seen in marriage, our physical health, saving for retirement, and even in our relationship with God. Some people try to cram for the finals in their relationship with God when things look bad. If we would take the time to be close to God right now, we would be ready to face those dark times in the future.