Read a Blue Devil Excerpt

Read a Blue Devil Excerpt
Mysterious Ways

Read Romans 11:25-36.

“O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!” (v. 33 NRSV)

The Blue Devils once had a mystery on their hands that was solved only in the dead of night.

Tommy Amaker came to Duke in 1983 and was a four-year starter. He was “a classic point guard, concentrating on distributing the ball and playing defense.” He was the national defensive player of the year as a senior in 1987 and was inducted into the Duke Sports Hall of Fame in 2001.

When he was a freshman, Amaker’s roommate was 7’2” center Marty Nessley. The two were opposites in many ways. Amaker was meticulous and organized. He “was always on time, always had his classes in order, was always prepared,” observed teammate Robert Brickey.

Amaker’s bedtime was part of his carefully organized routine: 10 p.m. on weekends, around 11 p.m. on weekends. Nessley, on the other hand, “was more interested in examining college life.”

Nessley constantly battled his weight, and the coaches put him on a strict diet -- but it didn’t work. “Marty would come to the training table and barely eat a thing, a salad maybe,” said Mark Alarie. “But he couldn’t drop any weight. Nobody knew why.”

Until one night, when a knock on the door sometime after 1 a.m. awoke Amaker. Nessley got up and answered the door, and shortly thereafter Amaker heard what sounded like rustling coming from Nessley’s bed. He turned on a light to see Nessley eating a pizza under the covers. Mystery solved.

People of faith understand that the good Lord often works in mysterious ways. This only serves to make God even more tantalizing because human nature loves a good mystery. We relish the challenge of uncovering what somebody else wants to hide. We are intrigued by a perplexing whodunit, a rousing round of Clue, or Perry Mason reruns.

Some mysteries are simply beyond our knowing, however. Events in our lives that are in actuality the mysterious ways of God remain so to us because we can’t see the divine machinations. We can see only the results, appreciate that God was behind it all, and give him thanks and praise.

God has revealed much about himself, especially through Jesus, but still much remains unknowable. Why does he tolerate the existence of evil? What does he really look like? Why is he so fond of bugs? What was the inspiration for chocolate?

We know for sure, though, that God is love, and so we proceed with life, assured that one day all mysteries will be revealed.

Through sports, a coach can offer a boy a way to sneak up on the mystery of manhood. – Writer Pat Conroy

God chooses to keep much about himself shrouded in mystery, but one day we will see and understand.


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