I Could Have Done More

If you follow the world of sports then you are quite likely aware of the death of the legendary Joe Paterno.  Joe died this past Sunday at the age of 85 after a two month bout with lung cancer.  If you don’t follow sports then let me give you a little insight into his life.  Joe was the football coach for the Penn State Nittany Lions for 46 seasons.  When he left Beaver Stadium for the final time in October, Paterno had amassed 409 victories—more than any major college football coach in the history of the game.  In fact the next closet active coach has 244 wins.
With more than 250 of his players making it to the NFL, Paterno was not only a great football coach, he was also known for being a great life coach.  Almost every one of his players would testify that “Joe-pa” made a huge difference in their lives as he impressed on them the importance of integrity.  Joe also believed in going above and beyond what was expected of him, in fact, one of his favorite quotes was, “A man’s reach should exceed his grasp.”
While Joe will be remembered as one of the greatest college football coaches of all time and a lifetime full of great accomplishments, Joe’s legacy will also be marked by one failure.  Again, if you don’t follow college football, let me fill you in.  This past fall one of Joe’s assistant coaches was charged with sexually molesting many young boys over a number of years.  Apparently, back in 2002, it had been reported to Paterno that a young boy had been raped in a school locker room, and rather than reporting it to the police, he only reported it to his superiors.  Yes he should’ve gone beyond.
As additional charges against his assistant coach became public and more and more people began to question why Paterno didn’t report the offenses to the police, the Penn State board of directors felt they had to fire Paterno.  When asked by one reporter about the tragic situation, Joe responded, “With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I would’ve done more.”
What a sad legacy to leave, however; I would guess we all have some regrets.  Good or bad, we’ve all experienced some situations in our lives where we wish we would’ve done more.  Well, the good news is that God’s mercies are new every day.  And as Paul writes in Colossians 4, it’s never too late to start making the most of every opportunity.
As you reflect on your life, is there an area where you could be doing more?  Maybe like Paterno, it’s time for you to shine the light into the darkness—it’s time to expose something ugly.  Maybe you could invest a little more effort into your marriage.  Maybe you could spend a little more time with the kids, or maybe you could invest a little more of your money into God’s kingdom—at least the return will be greater.
When our time on earth is up, may it never be said of us that looking back we wish we would’ve done more, but like the Apostle Paul, may we declare, “For I am already poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (II Timothy 4:6-8)
Only by grace,

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