Fourth Quarter

See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God. HEBREWS 12:15

Pat Summerall is a man living in the fourth quarter of life. His first quarter was spent in the home of his grandmother—he was born into a broken home and his parents abandoned him at an early age. His second quarter was filled with athletic success, first as a college football standout at the University of Arkansas ("Go Hogs!") and then as an NFL great with the New York Giants.

The third quarter, though, was a volatile mix of success and failure.

Professionally, he became one of the premier broadcast voices on sports television—for many years he was famous as the partner of John Madden as they covered NFL football. But severe alcoholism was eroding his family life, destroying his marriage and threatening his friendships.

So Pat's third quarter came to a close with a surprise meeting attended by 14 friends, including some of the most prominent people in professional sports. Each had a letter to read and an appeal to make: "Will you go for help?"

Anger hardened him at first against the things he was hearing, but the surprising confrontation was too much to withstand. He checked in to a recovery clinic... and met Jesus in the process. At 66 years of age, he was baptized in a Texas church and has been living for Christ ever since.

So now Pat Summerall is in the fourth quarter of life—coming from behind, restoring his family relationships and proclaiming a vital message: "It's never too late."

No matter what you've done, no matter how far you've slipped away, there is always hope. There is always possibility. There is always more to be gained in Christ than you've lost along the way.

DISCUSS

How do you handle success? Failure? Has there ever been a moment in your life when you wondered if it was too late?

PRAY

As you come to a deeper awareness of sin, pray for not only a deeper repentance but also a deeper view of what God can do.

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