Nicknamed “The Golden Arm”, John Constantine Unitas (May 7, 1933 – September 11, 2002) who is also known as a Johnny Unitas or Johnny U is no stranger to a fan of American football. He played for the majority of his career with the Baltimore Colts and was a record setting quarterback. He was awarded the most valuable player of the National Football League in 1959, 1964 and 1967. His record of throwing a touchdown pass in 47 consecutive games still remains unsurpassed. But what is really interesting about “Johnny U”‘s career, is what transpired before he ever set foot on the football field to play for the Baltimore Colts.
Upon his graduation from Louisville University, no pro team drafted Johnny Unitas. He wrote to several teams and finally got an opportunity to try for the Pittsburg Steelers, but despite his best effort, he was not chosen. Battling over discouragement from his friends who said “You got a raw deal, it is time to hang up your cleats”, the young Johnny never gave up. He was given another chance with another team and that resulted in an unfavorable outcome as well for Johnny. But Johnny’s resolve was strong. He persistently and patiently pursued other try out opportunities and finally got a chance to try out for the Baltimore team. Johnny made it in this time as a third string (referred to players who are third in line to starting a game) and through dedication and long hours of fitness building, Johnny Unitas finally made it to become the starting quarterback. The rest is history.
In our Christian walk as well, we must never give up. When doubt, disappointments, and discouragements come our way, we must press on toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Jesus Christ as did Apostle Paul (Philippians 3:14), remembering that we may be troubled on every side, yet not distressed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed, always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, so that his life also may be made manifest in us (2 Corinthians 4:8-10). In not giving up and persevering patiently, we might all just end up earning the title of “The Golden Arm” for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Philippians 3:14 (KJV)
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
2 Corinthians 4:8-11 (KJV)
8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
11 For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.