By Les Unruh
Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men. — Colossians 3:23
I had the great privilege of knowing Prentice Gautt, who passed away March 17, 2005. He was a wonderful human being. Prentice Gautt was the first black athlete to play football at Oklahoma University. He began playing there in 1956. He was two-time all conference in both 1958 and 1959. Not only was he a great runner; he was a fierce blocker.
Oklahoma University ran the Split T offense. As fullback, Gautt’s job on many plays was to aim at a square of ground where the defensive end usually was located. His assignment was to go through that spot and if there was a player there, he was to block him. On one play Gautt drove through that spot and blocked the defensive player to the ground. He got to his feet and blocked a linebacker scraping to get to the ball carrier. After blocking this linebacker, he turned up field and threw a block on a defensive back that was pursuing the ball. The ball carrier was able to get away and score. He had three blocks in one play.
Virtually every football coach I know emphasizes making that second effort. Fight for extra yardage. Block your assignment and go block someone else. Keep giving effort until the whistle blows. Give the second effort! In the case of Prentice Gautt, it was a third effort.
Paul, writing to the Colossians, emphasized effort that took the whole heart, not as to man, but as to the Lord.
1. With regard to effort, do you make the same demand of yourself that you do of your athletes?
2. Do you have a relationship with Jesus Christ that drives you to perform for His honor and glory?
3. Is there a love for the Lord that compels you to serve others as if serving the Lord?
Extra Reading: Colossians 3:17
Father, the love You have demonstrated for me compels me to serve, to reach out, to demonstrate Your love to others. Help me to do it powerfully, consistently, and joyfully. Amen.