Devotional: August 10th
For a guy raised in a small town in south central Ohio, whose earliest recollections of sports were football with the Ohio State Buckeyes and Cleveland Browns, I had two sports shrines. One was, and still is, the Horseshoe; Ohio Stadium at Columbus on the campus of the Ohio State University. The other is no longer standing. Cleveland Municipal Stadium in Cleveland has been torn down to make way for a new shrine; the current Browns Stadium.
I was in the 'Shoe as a high school student. I was at Ohio State with a group from some academic function one spring during my Junior year. We were permitted to go over to the stadium and watch the team in spring practice. I remember getting to talk to John Hayes, an offensive tackle and all-American candidate that year. How much better could it be? I was in the 'Shoe talking to a future all-American on the stadium turf. The legendary Woody Hayes was within shouting distance. But I've never seen a game there.
I have seen the Cleveland Browns play ball at both Cleveland Municipal and Cleveland Browns Stadiums. My first trip to see the Browns was 1964, the last year they won the championship by embarrassing the Baltimore Colts (yes, they used to be in Baltimore before Indianapolis) 27-0. We were seated right next to the runway to the Browns' locker room. Being able to be that close to Jim Brown, Frank Ryan, Jim Houston, Bill Glass and Gene Hickerson was awesome. Our little group got to actually talk to them before they went out on the field.
The thing that impressed me at that time, and still does today, was the immense proportions of those ball players. John Hayes was enormous in his Buckeyes uniform in the 'Shoe. The Browns players looked so massive waiting to run out on the field. I was awe struck. Their size and condition compared to mine was no contest. Want something else to make you feel that same way I did? Take some time and read the first four books of the New Testament. Read the gospels. Read the life of Christ.
Everything about Jesus was immense; His character, His love, His witness, His power. His task was especially immense. "The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost." Luke 19:10 His task was the salvation of mankind. That includes me...and you. Now, as Paul Harvey is wont to say, the rest of the story. "Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when he is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see him as He is." 1 John 3:2 Oh, and we'll be that in Heaven. How's that for neat?
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