The beginning of football season a few weeks ago made me think of the story of Eli Herring. Eli Herring was a 340-pound offensive tackle for Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. In his senior year Herring sported a 3.5 grade-point average and was judged a top senior offensive tackle in the pro draft. However, Herring, a devout Mormon, turned down a possible multimillion-dollar deal with the Oakland Raiders because he refused to play on Sunday. Unfortunately, his day of worship comes just when the Raiders buckle on their equipment and go to work.
Herring meditated intensely over his dilemma. He could sign with the NFL, play ball on Sundays and fill his life with fancy cars and houses, or he could teach math for $25,000 a year and worship on Sunday. He announced to the NFL that if he were drafted, he would not report to his employer.
Talk about a role model for children adrift in a cultural sea of greed, especially in sports! I guess blessings from above are better than a bank account. Jesus said, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24). The dilemma of Eli Herring proved this point beyond doubt, and he came out the winner!
Young people would do well to learn contentment. Paul wrote, “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (1 Timothy 6:7-10). It is just like the country song says: “You can’t be a beacon if your light don’t shine!”