peyton manning
Jan 24, 2016 File photo; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) waves to the crowd after the AFC Championship football game against the New England Patriots at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports/Files - RTS9IQ8

Peyton Manning Headed To Kingdom Hall Of Fame

Peyton Manning Puts Football Last 

The Sunday church service was going just fine.  The choir had sung, and the preacher was preaching.  It would all be over soon.  And then it happened.  “If you died today, would you go to heaven?”.  Thirteen-year-old Peyton was thunderstruck.  He wasn’t sure if he’d make the cut.  But the preacher offered hope.  “If you are not sure, and want that assurance, then raise your hand”.  Peyton’s hand went up.  But apparently more was required.  The prodding preacher asked the young boy walk to the front of the church and take a public stand for Christ.  Peyton’s heart was pounding out of his chest.  The aisle seemed a mile long, but like he would do in countless future football games, Peyton Manning made forward progress.  He dedicated his life to Jesus Christ that day, and never looked back. 

Some players are vocal about their faith.  Some point to the sky after touchdowns.  Manning does not, but his resolved is rooted in his top four priorities in life.  Faith, Family, Friends, and Football.  Manning says football can never rise above number four. 

In the 1941 biographical film “Sergeant York”, about the life of the famously devout Christian, and war hero Alvin C. York, one man said to York.  “Alvin, you got the using kind of religion”.  York didn’t talk about his faith, he acted it out.  That’s the same cloth Peyton Manning is cut from.  An example of this on display is when Peyton, and his brother Eli, personally delivered emergency supplies to Hurricane Katrina victims in 2005. 

But life has not been without suffering for Manning.  He’s endured intense pain from a herniated disc, which resulted in two surgeries.  He was sidelined for a season, and waived by the Indianapolis Colts the following season.  Even more critical, a pinched nerve incapacitated his throwing arm.  After correcting the nerve, he had to reteach his arm to throw a football again.

With Superman and Batman garnering over $330 million at the box, it appears society is in desperate need of heroes.  No man is perfect, save Christ, but we should uphold those like Manning who make an honest attempt at being a good man.  It is the God like character of men and women like that, which will begin to heal the hearts of a broken generation. 

In 2013 Pre-Super Bowl interviews, Seattle Seahawk’s cornerback Richard Sherman openly ridiculed and mocked Manning.  Manning never responded.  During the game, Sherman ironically injured his ankle, and was sidelined. 

Denver suffered a horrific 43-8 loss.  The largest point differential in Super Bowl history. But after the game Peyton Manning rushed over to the Seattle sideline, to check on Sherman, and see how his ankle was doing.  Sherman was blown away. 

“He was really concerned about my well-being.  After a game like that, a guy who’s still classy enough to say ‘How are you doing?’ To show that kind of concern for an opponent shows a lot of humility and class. I could learn so much from him.”

That type of first class character has become Manning’s Hallmark.  I’m not a judge, and don’t claim to speak for the Lord God, but I think it’s a solid assumption that Peyton can rest a little easier about getting into heaven.  He’s on the first ballot for the kingdom’s hall of fame.  

Tim Lollis is Executive Director of Destiny Institute, community relations specialist, and freelance writer. See more articles at www.thecalled.net

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