Read a Cowboys Excerpt

Read a Cowboys Excerpt
A Sure Thing

Read Romans 8:28-30.

“We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (v. 28).

Richetti Jones told the Fiesta Bowl people to go ahead and pass out the winners’ hats and shirts. After all, an Oklahoma State win was a sure thing.

On Jan. 2, 2012, Oklahoma State and Stanford got together and put on one of the most exciting bowl games in history. With 1:51 left to play, All-Big 12 running back Joseph Randle capped a 67-yard drive with a 4-yard touchdown run. The extra point tied the game at 38, and that’s the way it stayed. Overtime.

On its possession, Stanford missed a field goal. Then on the Cowboys’ second play, senior wide receiver and former walk-on Colton Chelf made a fingertip catch of a pass from Brandon Weeden, was hit by a Cardinal, and dived for the end zone. The arms went up to signal a touchdown and the celebration began.

A review, though, determined that Chelf’s knee had touched turf a half-yard short of the goal line. The unperturbed Cowboys set about winning their first BCS bowl game a second time and establishing a school record with their twelfth win of the season. On the first play, Weeden took the snap, dashed to the center of the field, and took a knee.

That meant the game was turned over to All-American kicker Quinn Sharp. Stanford called a time out. On the sideline, defensive end Jones noticed some Fiesta Bowl officials standing by with boxes of hats and shirts for the winners. “I told them just pass those out because Quinn is going to make this kick,” he said.

He did. Connor Sinko snapped the ball, Wes Harlan held it, and Sharp drilled it through the uprights. 41-38 Cowboys.

Football games aren’t played on paper. That is, the outcome isn’t a sure thing. You attend an Oklahoma State game expecting the Cowboys to win, but you don’t know for sure. If you did, why bother to go? Any football game worth watching carries with it an element of uncertainty.

Life doesn’t get played on paper either, which means that living, too, comes bearing uncertainty. You never know what’s going to happen tomorrow or even an hour from now. Oh, sure, you think you know. Right now you may be certain that you’ll be at work Monday morning, that you’ll have a job next month, and that you’ll be happily and comfortably married to the same spouse five years from now. Life’s uncertainties, though, can intervene at any time and disrupt those sure things you count on.

Ironically, while you can’t know for sure about this afternoon, you can know for certain about forever. Eternity is a sure thing because it’s in God’s hands. Your unwavering faith and God’s sure promises lock in a certain future for you.

"I was thinking, ‘Quinn, hurry up and make this kick so I can get my hat and shirt.’" -- Richetti Jones on the winning field goal in the Fiesta Bowl

Life is unpredictable and tomorrow is uncertain; only eternity with or without God is a sure thing.

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