60 Seconds – Restored From RuinAuthor: Dave Arnold
Towards the end of World War II, the cruiser USS Indianapolis was sunk, and according to Navy custom, her skipper was court-martialed. However, the captain’s punishment was remitted because of his excellent record prior to the sinking.
During this time, Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz was chief of naval operations in Washington D.C. One morning, Secretary of Navy James Forrestal called Nimitz to his office, and asked what the Indianapolis incident would do the captain’s career. The secretary asked, “Has there ever been a court-martialed officer in the history of the U.S. Navy who was later promoted to Admiral?” “You are looking at one right now,” Nimitz replied with a grin.
He then relayed how when he was a 22-year-old ensign, he was the commanding officer of the USS Decatur, an old destroyer. As he was cruising in Philippine waters, he had run the Decatur aground on a mud bank. Such a mistake could ruin a young naval officer’s career. Young Nimitz was court-martialed, and convicted of “hazarding a ship of the United States Navy.” However, he refused to let his mistake destroy him. Rather than being overwhelmed with despair, he was determined to be a more careful and better officer in the future. He eventually held the rank of fleet admiral and director of all operations of the entire U.S. Navy!
Jacob, the father, told his son Joseph, “God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has fed me all my life long to this day… has redeemed me from all evil” (Genesis 48:15). The word “evil” here means “breaking up – ruin.” He says God had redeemed him from that, bringing him through, and out of, all the faults and failures of his own wrong-doing.
David Thompson had his NBA career cut short due to substance abuse and injury. However, the Denver Nuggets eventually retired his No. 33 jersey. The general manager stated that Thompson was, “probably the greatest player to wear a Nuggets uniform, considering what he did for this franchise during its glory years.” He further said Thompson “has kept himself clean, and in life, like a basketball team, people should have opportunities.
Just because there’s a mistake made, (it) shouldn’t be held against you for a lifetime.” (Note: Thompson was enshrined into the Basketball Hall Of Fame as a player in 1996).
“As my apprentice, you’re never fired.” – God.