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When Mistakes Last a Life Time

In the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary on former NFL wide receiver Randy Moss entitled Rand University, this feature focuses on how hard it is for minorities to make it in professional sports.  Two high school teammates of Moss, Sam Singleton Jr. and Bobbie Howard refer to a generation curse, causing most talented athletes from Rand, West Virginia to end up drinking in the 7 Eleven parking lot every weekend wondering what might have been.  Whether its drugs, poverty or giving into temptation, sometimes poor choices result in mistakes that last a life time.

But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire, James 1:14.

While Sam Singleton Jr. received a football scholarship to Notre Dame and later went on to play a few seasons for the Chicago Bears, Sam is one of the exceptions to this Rand rule.  Bobbie Howard is more like the norm, unable to ditch his addiction to alcohol and pot.  After being drafted by a Major League Ball club, Bobbie was on his way to becoming a professional baseball player.  Unfortunately, despite showing great promise, one failed drug test sent him packing, released by an unnamed team.  At the conclusion of this film, Bobbie breaks down in tears, claiming his life is an example of when a mistake lasts a lifetime.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, 1 John 1:9.

What people seek and what individuals often receive are usually 2 different things.  At some point, people can become their own worst enemy.  Like a prodigal in denial, life often takes a downward spiral, reaching a new bottom floor with each passing year.  Most don’t get a second chance like a teenage I knew at my first church as a youth pastor.  The first time he ever drove drunk was his last, dying instantly after colliding with a tree.  If only souls could break out of their spiritual funk before its too late?  Perhaps, the sad story of Bobbie Howard may serve as a wake up call or reality check before one more mistake lasts a lifetime.

by Jay Mankus

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