Archive for November, 2012
Early Sunday morning I saw a very captivating TV spot. It’s focus is a young lad, cap on backward, a baseball and a bat in his hands, standing at home plate in a deserted ball park. As he readies himself to throw the ball into the air and hit it as it comes down, he states out loud, ‘I am the greatest batter in the world!’ Wiff! ‘Strike one’. Again, he tosses the ball into the air announcing, ‘I am the greatest batter in the world;’ and again…wiff! ‘Strike two.’ He turns his cap around. For a brief, intense moment he becomes one with his bat; he sets his feet; and in a steady, steely voice he claims with authority, ‘I am the greatest batter in all the world’…Wiff! ‘Strike three’!
The batter is stunned. He stands motionless. Then a profound realization washes over his face. His eyes light up, as a satisfied smile creeps across his countenance; then he announces with great pride and confidence, “I am the greatest pitcher in the world!’
I have not a clue regarding the sponsorship of this ad, but what perspective!
For me Thanksgiving is the quintessential Fall harvest celebration. The perfect time to enjoy the fruits of the labors of Spring and Summer; relishing family, friends and food. The ‘thanks’ part is relatively easy; the theme is built right into the very fabric of harvest. The ‘giving’ part maybe not so easy.
A few years ago I was introduced by a good friend to his ‘tradition of giving’. A week or two before Thanksgiving he would go out and buy 25 to 50 turkeys. Then he would strat giving them away. Some went to food banks and other charitable entities, but his great joy was handing out 10 or 20 randomly. (At Christmas he would do the same thing with jackets and blankets).
As the Holiday approaches I invite you to participate ‘in a random act of giving’ in addition to your usual charitable contribution. It need not be grand or expensive for that is not the point. A five or ten dollar gift certificate for your favorite grocery store, coffee shop, gas station, pie shop; a bouquet of flowers; or just buying a turkey or two to give away. It is fun. It feels good. It enriches us all. Enjoy!
I was mildly surprised that the primary definition of surprise is to ‘attack without warning; to take unawares’. Several times a month I am surprised in some way or another. For example, this past week I was surprised by seasonal temperatures well above normal; really warm, sunny, beautiful weather. Followed shortly by unseasonally cold temperatures; frost, bone-chilling cold, premature winter. This experience is more in line with secondary definitions like ‘astonishment’ and ‘amazement’.
Then there is the ‘surprise‘ party…. Similar to the recent swing of temperatures, I found myself on the giving and receiving side of these events. Within less than 10 days my emotions were swinging between the two extremes of successful surprise; rich and moving experiences. I will be smiling with surprising contentment for the next several weeks.
Sacrifice as a noun is primarily defined as a precious offering to a deity. As Veteran’s Day approaches, sacrifice comes to the forefront of my meditating mind.
There are many forms of sacrificing; sacrifices that parents make for their children; sacrifices made to save money; sacrifices made by dieter’s; sacrifices of time and energy by countless volunteers for numerous causes; and yes, even the sacrifice bunt. In the recent horrific disaster on the East Coast many sacrifices large and small, known and unknown are being made every second.
Christ said that there is no greater sacrifice than that a man lay down his life for another. This week I invite you to hold in honor and esteem the countless Veteran’s and their families who have served and continue to serve our great nation.