John 21:14-17 “This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead. So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son on Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.”

Hebrews 12:1 “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”

Isaiah 43:18-19 “Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”

On New Years Day 1929, the California Golden Bears faced the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the annual Rose Bowl football game.  Midway through the first half, Roy Riegels picked up a fumble in front of 60,000 fans and ran over 60 yards … the wrong way. It was only because a teammate chased him down that he stopped at the 1-yard line. But his mistake ended up resulting in a safety in a subsequent play and those two points ultimately cost California the game. And as a result, the legend of Roy “Wrong Way” Riegels was born. But that isn’t the end of the story.

Riegels was determined to sit out the rest of the game after his embarrassing and harmful mistake. But Coach Nibs Price charged him with the following: “Roy, get up and go back out there! The game isn’t over!” He did, playing brilliantly in the second half and blocking a punt in the process. And though the Golden Bears ultimately lost the game and the nickname stuck with him, Riegels earned a spot as the team captain during the following year and was also named a first-team All-American. He eventually went on to be a coach himself, an officer in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II, and a business executive. In that Rose Bowl game, in his football career, and in life, he did indeed get up and play in a way that acknowledged that his game was not yet over.

We sometimes think that our personal mistakes disqualify us for future usefulness. And, we believe that a nation that is headed in the wrong direction is irredeemable. But, the words of Coach Price should powerfully remind us to “Get up and go back out there! The game isn’t over!”