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One Inspiring Class Act

How Peyton Manning’s next chapter will be the most inspiring story of the year.

Guideposts Editor-in-Chief Edward Grinnan

You have to admit, the guy has class. Tons of class in addition to that gun of a right arm, that Canton, Ohio, Hall-of-Fame right arm. I’m talking about the great ex-Colt Peyton Manning, who inspired me this week with how he handled himself exiting Indy. He could have pouted or glowered or screamed. He could have tweeted a bunch of nasty stuff. Instead he said, “I’ve been very blessed.”

It was humbling to see perhaps the greatest ever at his position get cut from the only pro team he has ever played for after sitting out a year with a neck injury that may never completely heal.

The Colts needed to make a decision about Stanford’s Andrew Luck and whether he would be their quarterback of the future. Jim Irsay, the team owner, decided it was time for the change. Indy only won two games last season without Peyton. They had to think about the future.

But Manning cut? How does Peyton Manning get cut? No one ever thought it would come to this. Then Number 18 stepped to the microphone and with a tear in his voice said he was blessed, blessed to have played 14 seasons for a great team, great fans and a great city, blessed for all the NFL passing records he holds, the four league MVPs and the Super Bowl ring from 2006. He was humble and grateful and ready to move on.

Manning’s services are sure to be snatched up and for a pretty price. The guy is worth the risk, especially after the way he carried himself on Tuesday. Who doesn’t want that guy under center on Sunday if he can still throw a forward pass? It seems like just a little while ago I was in Indy on my book tour staring up at the huge picture of Peyton outside Lucas Oil Stadium. He seemed as much an immovable part of the town as the famed Speedway. Now they will have to take that one huge picture and a thousand others like it down. It really is the end of an era. Sad, I suppose.

But in another sense, we all face moments of great change in our lives, when we move on from one big thing to the next, when the end of one era is the beginning of another one. We’re all a little bit like Peyton and he like us. In fact, I imagine even the great Peyton Manning is a little nervous about his next move. Change is hard but necessary, full of both uncertainty and possibility. In change there is potential for transformation and awesome spiritual growth. That is what my book, The Promise of Hope: Nine Keys to Powerful Personal Change, is about. I talk about how I and other people I’ve known and written about have met seemingly insurmountable challenges and have been strengthened by them with the help of a loving power whose guiding hand is on our lives even when our lives feel out of control.

How about you? What changes have you faced or are you currently facing? Life is an adventure. Tell me about yours. Post below. And while we’re at it, let’s say a prayer of thanks for Peyton Manning. He gave us 14 incredible seasons. Let’s hope there are a few more.

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