A lesson from Joe Paterno

I was reading “Everyday Greatness” (Reader’s Digest) and stumbled across a story of discipline. The story went something like this. In 1972 Joe Paterno got a call from Bill Sullivan – former president and principal owner of the New England Patriots. He offered Joe the head coach position. Joe said he was not interested in coaching pro ball. Then Bill Sullivan offered him $1.3 million, plus part ownership of the franchise and a $100,000 bonus for signing. At Penn State Joe’s pay was a grand total of $35,000 which was enough to satisfy his family. But when he heard that amount, he went dizzy. He ended up telling his wife that he would take the new offer. His wife Sue, replied, “Joe, whatever you want to do will be fine with me”. He called Bill Sullivan and told him he would take the job. Joe told his wife that “tonight you get to sleep with a millionaire”. At 2:00 am his wife was sitting in her rocking chair, nursing their baby, weeping. Joe was not asleep either. He saw his wife sobbing. . He then reflected on the life he would be leaving behind. He thought about the school, the only home his five kids ever knew, the players and families he touched, and the Penn State Mascot. He realized that accepting the offer in Boston would not give him the same gratification. He then understood what counted more than victory or defeat. Watching his players grow in their personal and educational development and feeling that deep lasting reward. A reward that he could not get in pro ball. He asked himself if this was the right choice and thought about why he wanted the new job, Boston is cool, and it would be a new challenge, but.. It was for the money. In the morning he told his wife that “You went to bed with a millionaire, but you woke up with me. I’m not going.” She later told him her first thought was ,”Thank God”.

The moral of the story :

Before you let the C.R.E.A.M. mentality pursue you, think twice. Think about what matters most. Furthermore, when you come into the straight and narrow path of serving God, and you are faced with taking a job that will pay you more but has you working on the sabbath, always remember the importance of being content and trusting in the Lord. If you believe that God will see you thru, then you should know that he will not want you to break the everlasting covenant that makes you holy. Do not break the Lord’s commandments to get ahead in this world. Before Joe did the right thing, he had to reflect on his past and physical surroundings. He literally had to see his wife crying, which made him think about the weight of this decision. Well, in many cases like this our spouses may want to move, or if they do not keep the sabbath, they may get upset if you do not take the job and God will certainly not whisper in your ear and say “don’t take the job, it will make me cry”. God has given us free will. He wants to see our personal decision making. He wants us to see if we are responsible enough to do what is right, even when the going gets tough. He wants to see if we will trust in him and not put our desires, and physical needs before his will and everlasting promises. Joe Paterno is no longer living. May he rest in peace. But he, as all that are asleep will rise again at either the first or second resurrection. We will all have to answer for our actions, thoughts, and words. Trust in the Lord folks, because he is not slack concerning his promises. He will see you through, but you must believe, and you must obey, no matter what. I hope when faced with tough decisions, you may reflect on these words and be disciplined enough to do the right thing!