by J. Gerald Harris

The Way, the Truth, and the Life
J. Gerald Harris
John 14:1-6

In my hand I have a tract that was given to me by Greg Brezina. In this tract Greg Brezina tells how he came to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Greg Brezina played football for the Atlanta Falcons. He was on the Falcons team in 1978 when they played Philadelphia in the first round of the NFC playoffs. Greg Brezina was paid to tackle running backs and block kicks. Mike Michel played football for the Philadelphia Eagles. He was paid to kick extra points and field goals.

In this playoff game in 1978, two seconds were remaining in the game. Atlanta was ahead 14 to 13, but Philadelphia had the ball. They decided to go for a field goal. If the ball goes through the uprights, Philadelphia wins the game. The signal is called. The teams are in position. The ball is snapped. The ball is down. The kick is made -- but it veers to the left -- wide of the goal.

The Falcons players leap for joy -- screaming at the top of their voices -- joined by the jeering throngs in Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. But the kicker who had failed hunched forward on the ground as though he was an animal.

Then Greg Brezina, the linebacker of the opposing team, came over and knelt down beside Mike Michel, the place kicker who had failed to make the kick. And Brezina said, ''Mike, what I am about to say to you may not make any sense, but it doesn't really matter whether you made it or not.'' And then Brezina said, ''What matters far more is that you have peace in your heart which comes from Jesus Christ.''

That has to be one of the most unusual sports items I have ever heard about -- and I've followed sports all of my life. But as I recall, it made every sports page in America -- the linebacker from the winning team kneeling quietly beside the man in abject failure, and saying, ''It really doesn't matter whether you made the kick or missed it.''

''Mike Michel, have you ever felt as badly?''

''Never ...

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