Read 1 John 4:7-21.
“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love” (v. 8).”
Mal Moore was a fortunate man in that he had not one, but two great loves in his life.
The most public one, of course, was the University of Alabama. He was a quarterback for Bear Bryant and a coach for Alabama for 22 seasons. He was the only offensive coordinator Bryant ever named and was instrumental in the installation of the legendary wishbone offense prior to the 1971 season. When newly hired head coach Ray Perkins fired Moore and other offensive assistants in 1982, he broke down and cried. He returned to Tuscaloosa in 1990 as Gene Stallings’ offensive coordinator.
But there was a less public, more private love in Mal Moore’s life. That was his wife, Charlotte. In 1968, in his fourth year as an Alabama assistant, the two married. Some twenty-five happy years followed.
Things changed, however, in 1993. As the season moved along, Moore’s hectic schedule was frequently interrupted by calls to come home. Soon the calls came almost hourly. During the 1993 Gator Bowl trip, other coaches’ wives quietly told Moore what he already knew: Something was amiss with Charlotte.
She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, forcing Moore to choose between the two loves of his life. He chose Charlotte, giving up coaching to become an associate athletic director, which gave him more time for her. Five years later, he was promoted to athletic director and carried out one of the most successful tenures in college sports history. Charlotte died in 2010; he died in 2013.
Moore is the only person in history to earn ten national title rings in football. Perhaps it was the eleventh ring — the one Charlotte gave him — that meant the most of all to him.
Your heart rate accelerates, your blood pressure jumps, your mouth runs dry, your vision blurs, and you start stammering. Either you’ve got the flu or the one you’re in love with just walked into the room and smiled at you. Fortunately, if the attraction is based on more than hormones and eye candy, the feverish frenzy that characterizes newfound love matures into a deeper, more meaningful affection. If it didn’t, we’d probably die from exhaustion, stroke, heart failure, or a combination thereof.
We pursue true love with a desperation and a ferocity that is unmatched by any other desire. Ultimately, the Christian life is about that same search, about falling in love and becoming a partner in a deep-seated, satisfying, ever-growing and ever-deepening relationship. The Christian life is about loving so fiercely and so completely that love is not something we’re in but something we are. The object of our love is the greatest and most faithful lover of them all: God.
I cannot put into words what this institution that I have been a part of for over 50 years means to me.
God is head-over-heels in love with you; like any lover, he wants you to return the love.