Today's Featured Devotion

Today's Featured Devotion


Read Genesis 1, 2:1-3.

“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (v. 1:31).

The Virginia “Eleven” beat up on would-be preachers and high-school kids in 1888, but it was the beginning of the football program that would rule the South for almost three decades.

After several years of playing around with a kicking game that resembled football, UVa in 1887 got serious by electing a former Princeton player, H. Reid Rogers, president of the “Foot Ball Association.” Rogers assembled a team, played right tackle on it, instructed the neophytes on the game’s finer points, and unsuccessfully tried to schedule a game with Richmond College. He did line up a game against Pantops Academy, a boys’ school from across town. Charles Wilcox served as the captain of that 1887 club team, which debuted with a scoreless tie. A second meeting with Pantops in March 1888 resulted in a 26-0 UVa win.

Interest in and enthusiasm for this newfangled sport led to more organized efforts to field a team. On Nov. 20, 1888, Virginia launched its first official team, whipping Pantops again 20-0. Only four days later, the Virginians, captained by Francklyn A. Meacham, traveled to Alexandria and beat a squad of boys from Episcopal High School and students from Virginia Theological Seminary 16-0.

Buoyed by the two wins, the team invited Johns Hopkins to Charlottesville for a game on Dec. 8. The 26-0 loss was Virginia’s first regularly scheduled intercollegiate contest that could safely be called football. It also marked UVa as the first school south of the Potomac River to field a football team. That first season ended with the loss and a 2-1 record.

The 1889 squad, under team captain Sidney M. Neely, went 4-2 with wins over Pantops, Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, and Wake Forest. Football at the University of Virginia was on its way.

Beginnings are important, but what we make of them is even more important. Consider, for example, how far the University of Virginia football program has come since that first season. Every morning, you get a gift from God: a new beginning. God hands to you as an expression of divine love a new day full of promise and the chance to right the wrongs in your life. You can use the day to pay a debt, start a new relationship, replace a burned-out light bulb, tell your family you love them, chase a dream, solve a nagging problem . . . or not.

God simply provides the gift. How you use it is up to you. People often talk wistfully about starting over or making a new beginning. God gives you the chance with the dawning of every new day. You have the chance today to make things right – and that includes your relationship with God.

The most important key to achieving great success is to decide upon your goal and launch, get started, take action, move. -- John Wooden

Every day is not just a dawn; it is a precious chance to start over or begin anew.

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