Read a Gamecock Excerpt

Read a Gamecock Excerpt

Read John 6:60-69.

“The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. Yet there are some of you who do not believe” (vv. 63b-64a).

The Gamecock football team once made a decision that killed a bowl game.

The South Carolina squad of 1945 finished with an unusual 2-3-3 record. The team was also unusual in that it got better as the season went on but not because of more practice and more experience. The team improved as young men were discharged from the service and came home. For example, halfback Bobby Giles joined the team in mid-season.

On Thanksgiving Day the Gamecocks met Wake Forest, which, said one sportswriter, “was of little interest to anyone except fans of the two colleges.” At the time, that probably was true. The Deacons were favored, but South Carolina got an eight-yard touchdown pass from Bill Carr to Lyle Hanson and a brilliant run from halfback Charles Brembs, who turned a short pass from Dan Haralson into a 43-yard score. The game ended in a 13-13 tie.

Meanwhile, in Jacksonville, Fla., the Lions Club decided it would host a bowl game. A similar situation was perking in Columbia with the announcement of the establishment of the Tobacco Bowl with the Gamecocks as the host team in a rematch of the Wake Forest game.

A formal invitation was delayed, however, as plans for the bowl were formulated. A week after plans for the Columbia game were announced, the Gamecock players decided to accept an invitation from that brand new Gator Bowl in Jacksonville. The next day officials in Columbia cancelled plans for the Tobacco Bowl and never revived it.

The decisions you made along the way shaped your life at every pivotal moment. Some decisions you made suddenly and frivolously; some you made carefully and deliberately; some were forced upon you. Perhaps decisions made for frivolous reasons have determined how your life unfolds, and you may have discovered that some of those spur-of-the-moment decisions have turned out better than your carefully considered ones.

Of all your life’s decisions, however, none is more important than one you cannot ignore: What have you done with Jesus? Even in his time, people chose to follow Jesus or to reject him, and nothing has changed; the decision must still be made and nobody can make it for you. Ignoring Jesus won’t work either; that is, in fact, a decision, and neither he nor the consequences of your decision will go away. Carefully considered or spontaneous – how you arrive at a decision for Jesus doesn’t matter; all that matters is that you get there.

If you make a decision that you think is the proper one at the time, then that's the correct decision. -- Basketball Coach John Wooden

A decision for Jesus may be spontaneous or considered; what counts is that you make it.

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