Sunday, December 25, 2005

Tony Dungy's Faith!

Just hours before the news of the death of James Dungy, son of Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy, I was praying and studying the Bible with Linden (Tony’s brother). I shared with Linden that I had been praying for Tony, specifically, with regard to the hype surrounding the Colts winning streak. We were even talking about the Super Bowl – making preliminary plans for going together.

Like Linden, Tony is a man of faith! That became even more public as Tony left his team Thursday to be with his family. It was encouraging to note that team officials seemed to repeat one word more than any other: faith! Remarkably, in the world of cynical sportswriters, no one failed to acknowledge that Dungy was a man of faith.

Local Star sports columnist Bob Kravitz weighed in with an excellent a column that summarized nearly everyone who associated with Tony Dungy either as a fan or as a friend:

In Dungy’s life, service to God and his family rate as his two most important jobs, with his role of a football coach a distant third. From the moment he arrived on the scene as the head coach in Tampa Bay, Dungy has promoted faith-based initiatives that were aimed at turning men into solid, nurturing fathers. That’s what makes this so horribly ironic, so painfully difficult to comprehend.

It’s the hard lesson of parenthood you never want to learn: Sometimes, you can do everything right and it’s still not enough.

“I’ve learned many things from coach Dungy,” linebacker David Thornton said. “About fatherhood, about being a man of faith, about being a man of integrity.”

Tony has God’s call on his life! He has talked in the past of retiring and going into prison ministry and spending more time with his family. How his son’s death may play in this decision only time will tell. And what the public learns of all this will be Tony’s decision to reveal. He is entitled to a certain amount of privacy, especially if he chooses to retire.

Tony’s faith is in the Person and Work of Jesus Christ and his dedication to his family finds its roots in the Holy Scripture (Bible). He is a man after God’s own heart and knows that his future is in God’s gracious hands.

Pray for the Dungy family in this time of great lose.


Linden Dungy said...

Rom, I would say that these comments are pretty much right on. After seeing my brother and sister=in-law, during the visitation, greet everyone that came through the funeral home one by one (and we are talking thousands of people amd we are talking about 3 1/2 hours straight of standing and greeting), a reporter wrote "and it looked more as Dungy was doing the comforting versus the one being comforted. The strenght of the LORD was reveiled through my brother this past few days...But the most impressive thing this past few days for that the LORD was not cheated on this day...that his victory over death and this victory that he has in store for his elect was placed at the head of the table...right where it belongs. This day was not about the Tony and Lauren Dungy, about the lost that the entire Dungy and Harris family suffered, nor about James Dungy. This was, is and will always be about the Jesus and His amazing, love, peace and grace that goes beyound all understanding and about the reconciliation He has purchased and redeemed for us at the cross.

revdrron said...

Thanks for the update Linden. I always appreciate your insight. Give honor where honor is due! Praise the Lord Jesus!

Tony Dungy was a man who left a significant impression wherever he went based on the tremendous stories that have flowed out of the Newspapers from Florida to Minnesota.

Indianapolis Star sportswriter Phil Richards caught one of Tony’s key quotes and as a Father of seven with three grandchildren I listened:

“I urge you not to take your relations for granted,” Dungy told the gathering of about 1,500. “Parents, hug your kids each chance you get. Tell them you love them each chance you get. You don’t know when it’s going to be the last time.”

It seems that Tony last saw his son at Thanksgiving in Indianapolis. James was in a rush to return to Tampa. Goodbyes were hurried.

“I never got to hug him,” Dungy said. “I knew I was going to get to see him pretty soon, so it didn’t bother me a lot.”

Wow! That brings it home again!