It spoke not just of the 122-40 career record with the Wolverines, the 5 Big-Ten titles, or a National Championship in 1997, but of the character of the many persons who made such things possible.
He was saying that it wasn't him, but so many others: serving under legendary Bo Schembechler, great players, and committed leadership on his teams that brought him the victories.
As I read the article, I could help but feel what a message for all of us. Where would we have been in life if it hadn't been for those that surrounded us, believed in us, followed us, and cheered us on when in our struggles and doubts, when we felt we just couldn't make it? We are all so indebted to them all.
As I've looked back on my life, brought up in a very conservative, strict church that "had something," a depth of inner joy and peace that I didn't understand, but I wanted. I've wondered if I had been brought up in a more formal type of church would I have had that experience by my bedside, when I was overwhelmed by the love and joy of God?
And how indebted I am to those who believed in my ministry, never having to advertise my availability but was so busy preaching and singing on an average of 322 times a year in more than 20 different denominations.
And unbelievably, preaching between Billy Graham and Merv Roselle in the great White Hall Auditorium in Des Moines, Iowa, to thousands! Other gifts and encouragements by persons that painted and gave me 15 and 20 foot road banners, a PA system once used by Frankie Lane.
When founding a church meeting in a junior high auditorium, there was a printing company whose owner donated the paper, a printer who printed thousands of brochures, door hangers without cost, and youth that ran down the streets hanging them on hundreds of homes in the community. Probably more important than all, were the professors at universities who challenged my biblical and religious naivety. For example at Michigan, challenging me in their school of philosophy, "If you think you have a neat philosophy or theology of where you came from, what you are here for, and where you are going" is like "a blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat -- that just isn't there!"
I'm so indebted to them. They made me think! They challenged all practices and beliefs as to validity and truth content. What is real in religion, what can we be sure of?
Since I've been writing, I'm so indebted to all of you who have taken the time to call, write encouraging notes, and personally express that an article, or articles, have meant so much to you during the tough times you are going through.
As I've grown older, I want to spend the rest of my life trying yet to help in lifting one's burdens, strengthening the faith of those doubting God's goodness; to help as many as I can, not just to make it, but live with joy throughout the days ahead.
I want to bless others, as so many have blessed me!