…and Some I’d Rather Forget

Former Washington Redskins Coach Joe Gibbs won three Super Bowls with three different quarterbacks. His 16-5 playoff record is second only to Vince Lombardi’s. Eight times in 12 seasons he led the Redskins to the playoffs. He recently attended his first Redskins game since retiring in 1993 to become a NASCAR team owner.

Gibbs was asked to name his most memorable moment as an NFL coach. One could easily imagine that memory might be a Doug Williams or Joe Theismann playoff touchdown pass, or the Super Bowl game-winning 43-yard touchdown run by John Riggins. Instead, the Hall of Fame coach mentioned linebacker Larry Kubin and one practice.

Gibbs said, “What you miss most are the personalities and the struggles, things most people wouldn’t think about, like practice. I can still remember Larry hitting John Riggins in practice. Nobody hit John in practice and Larry knocked his helmet off. All the players picked Larry up, put him on their shoulders and carried him off the practice field that day. I thought that was one of the greatest things that ever happened to me in coaching. There are a lot of little things like that you carry with you.”

Isn’t that fascinating? A coach treasures a moment of a private team practice with no one else watching. No stadium filled with the frenzy of cheering fans. No ESPN crew to show the world that night. The coach treasures his team’s practicing football together while no one else was watching.

Here are just a couple of my most memorable moments.

One not-so-good memory for me was the time I hit the side of the clubhouse with my tee shot. Talk about one of those embarrassing moments. I was new to the game of golf and didn’t have much of an idea how to properly set up for a straighter drive off the tee. The clubhouse was about 50 yards in front and off to the right of the tee box. And wouldn’t you know it, my tee shot hits the side of the clubhouse and for sure guys started coming outside to see what had happened. Memorable, yes, but primarily because I can’t seem to forget it.

Another was also golf related but had a better outcome. After some time and practice I had at least learned to some degree how to hit the golf ball well enough to keep it in play. And in one very unusual round I had two eagles (2 shots below par). One was on hole 1 and another on hole 18. Wow—that is even more amazing to me, considering I don’t really play golf that well. Now that’s a “keeper” memory for me.

And in another round of golf not long after that one, I missed a hole in one by less than an inch! I mean it was as close as I have ever been but nonetheless didn’t quite make it.

I imagine that the Lord in heaven may one day surprise us in the same way that Coach Gibbs surprised his audience as he recalled his most memorable moment. Maybe you will ask God to remember a moment in your life that He truly treasures in His heart. Maybe it will be a moment you wouldn’t expect at all. Maybe it will be a very private act of faith. Maybe it will be a simple act of kindness that no one else even knew about. Maybe it will be a moment when you kept your mouth closed rather than trash-talked on the playing field. Maybe it will be the time you forgave the person who hurt you the most. Maybe it will be the cup of water you shared with a thirsty person. Maybe it will be a simple, intimate moment of worship that you had with God.

It’s a matter of inches
Often in golf and many sports it’s a matter of inches between achieving the goal and falling short of it. Many things in life are a matter of inches. And for sure the difference between spending eternity in Heaven or Hell is a matter of inches—about 18 inches, that is—the distance from your head to your heart. It’s the difference between knowing about Christ and salvation and actually believing and accepting Christ into your heart by faith as your personal Savior. It’s a short distance but yet an eternity away. Almost but not.

The most memorable moment in your life throughout all eternity is when you accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior! It’s the moment you go from knowing about Jesus Christ to having a personal relationship with Him. From religious works that say “DO!” to a relationship with the Savior that says “DONE!” Your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life (Revelation 3:5; 13:8). God says that when you accept Him it is so memorable for Him that He writes your name in His book, never to be removed.

Your most memorable moment happens when you transfer your trust from “doing something for God” to “accepting what Jesus Christ has already done for you.”

First, realize that God loves you.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

Second, realize that everyone is a sinner.
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23

Third, realize sin has a price to be paid.
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23

Fourth, realize Jesus Christ died to pay your price.
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

Finally, pray and ask Jesus Christ to be your Savior, claim His promise of eternal life, and become part of His family!
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:13


Article by Pastor Greg Joyner

Author: Editor

Community Connection is an outreach magazine and blog from Valley Forge Baptist to provide relevant and uplifting articles for the families and homes of Collegeville, PA and area residents. Articles are not just from staff but from other community members who’s lives have been touched by Jesus Christ. If we have been an encouragement to you please let us know at info@vfbt.org.