"Wrong Way Riegels"

( [email protected] ) Jul 18, 2003 02:04 AM EDT

Galatians 6:9

And let us not lose heart in doing good

It is surprising to learn how many parents feel inadequate and helpless. I can relate to this because Barbara and I struggle as much as anyone else with these feelings. We are not raising little robots that dutifully go about perfectly obeying us. We moan over our failures and wonder if our kids will ever turn out right.

Have you heard of "Wrong Way Riegels"? Roy Riegels played in the 1929 Rose Bowl for the University of California and made one of the most famous mistakes in the history of football. He picked up a fumble, looked up and saw nothing but green grass ahead of him. He ran more than 60 yards-in the wrong direction! Finally he was tackled by his teammate inside their own 10-yard line. California was forced to punt, and Georgia Tech blocked the kick and scored.

At halftime, the California coach gave a rousing call to his dispirited team. At the end he declared, "Same team that started the first half, will start the second half." This meant Roy was going to start the second half.

All the players ran out to the field except Roy. "Coach, I cannot go out there," Roy said. "I'm humiliated."

The coach looked Roy in the face and said, "Roy, the game is only half over. Now get out there and play the rest of it."

The words of that coach are worth remembering today if you're a parent. You may have a nine-year-old, and you're thinking, The game is half over-in nine years he will be going to college. Or your oldest may be 12 or 15 or 25. You look back with regret at your mistakes in parenting, and you think you've already lost the game.

It is at this point where we need the encouragement of Charles Spurgeon who said, "It was by perseverance that the snail reached the ark."

You cannot change what happened in the past, neither can I. What you can change is what you do in the future.


Ask God to encourage you to not grow weary in doing good as a parent. Ask Him to show you how you can encourage your spouse in the battle.