I love sports stories that reinforce the goodness of God. I heard one last week and want to share it. It has to do with the “sneakiness” of God. Of course He is not sneaky in the traditional sense of that term. I mean that He will move things around, hide the obvious, do the not expected to make certain that we do not take credit for His amazing work. Almighty God deserves that!
This story involves a USC football player named Ben Malcolmson. He was a walk on player for Pete Carroll. Ben is a great young gentleman who gave a talk at his Christian fraternity (Alpha Gamma Omega) that I listened to. Great stuff…
It seems that Ben was only on the squad for one year and he wanted to make sure that his influence for the cause of Christ was intentional and would hopefully bear spiritual fruit. So, he organized a team Bible study but no one showed up. He organized a prayer meeting for the players. One guy showed up but left before it was time to pray.
He talked personally with many of the guys, all to no avail. He felt like a complete failure and time was running out. So during Christmas break, he got a brilliant idea. He snuck into the locker room and placed inexpensive Bibles in every player’s locker. He went home feeling like revival was just around the corner. He could not sleep he was so excited to see their response.
The next morning, he went to practice early with a very expectant heart. But instead of seeing groups of players praying all around the room, instead he found his Bibles scattered everywhere. They were torn and discarded. Some were in the trashcans. Others were strewn on the floor. None were left in the lockers.
To say he was discouraged is to put it mildly. But the team went on to win the Rose Bowl and Ben graduated from school. Soon thereafter, he went to Seattle to work with Coach Carroll and the Seahawks. His spiritual ministry with the USC players was seemingly a complete failure.
Four years later, he bumped into an old teammate at a Young Life meeting in Seattle. Taylor was a party guy, not the kind that would likely come to Christ. But he had and they began to get caught up on mutual friends. The conversation turned to that night when Ben had placed the Bibles in all the lockers. With tears in his eyes, Taylor told this story:
“Do you remember Mario Danelo? He was the player who had the freak accident the day after the Rose Bowl. He slipped on a cliff and fell to his death. Well, the truth is he took his copy of the Bible you put in his locker and read it all week long. He gave his life to Christ two days before he fell. And your Bible was laid on top of his of his casket.”
What a story to start our week with! See, I told you God is “sneaky” and He loves using us-His way!
By His Grace and for His Glory,
Sherry L. Worel