Archive | November, 2013

Football fever, thoughts from a non-fan

17 Nov

I have never been a football fan. My family prefered game night, reading, or a family movie over sports. In high school I attended a total of half a football game (a friend wanted to go to the game to meet up with a boy, once we found him we went to Shari’s for pie). In college I handed out flyers for the theatre department’s upcoming show once the game began, I left. The tally of games attended has remained thus ever since.  

As I write this, the Kansas City Chiefs are playing the game that could make them 10-0. Even I know this. Kansas City is a pretty strong sports supporting town, but this year is noticeably kicked up. Every store has Chiefs branded merchandise, and it’s not the usual depleaded halfway through the season selection.  

We’ve been taken over by football fever. Some would call it a Fairweather fan situation. Maybe that’s it, maybe there is more to it.  

Who doesn’t want to be on the winning team? To understand what everyone is taking about. People want to belong, to feel connected. To be a part of something bigger than themselves.  

As a minister, I will admit that I lean towards a spiritual community as a fantastic place to be connected to something bigger. As a nature girl I would also suggest a quiet walk in the woods.  

But for some, prophets wear shoulder pads or coach headsets. Sacred music is the roar of the crowd. Ritual involves body paint, and the dress code is more concerned with color than style. Then there’s  communion… Well, you can interpret that on your own.

Is there a lot of angst, energy and explosions of joy and anger that might be more productively aimed elsewhere? In my opinion, probably yes. On the other hand, sports are one of the few safe places in our culture where it is okay to have big emotions (at least for men). You can jump for joy, cry in your beer, hug your friends, and as I mentioned, belong to something.  

So while I don’t have much of an opinion on who wins tonight, (though there is a Broncos flag in my husband’s man cave) I am sitting in appreciation for the phenomenon that is sweeping KC. It has brought hope, confidence and a sense of ownership to our community, and that indeed is a blessing.

Go team!

perspectives while driving

5 Nov

My mom lives on a squiggly road. Those of you who have spent any time where ravines, bodies of water and large hills are scattered about like a giant’s playthings know what I mean. The road from where my mom lives to the next town where the Unity church and the beach are located is 18 miles long though it is only about 10 if you could go direct. 

The thing about driving on squiggly roads is that you have to keep quite alert to every moment of the driving. There is no using cruise control and you have to coordinate sips from your coffee to the few straight stretches. Those few straight stretches are also the only place to pass a driver going slower than you would like to go. I admit my first drives down that road were slower than the 50 MPH speed limit, and I’m sure folks wanted to pass me as I was getting used to which turns were how tight. 

Certainly it was always a practice of mindfulness, but not always in the same way. When I was behind an RV or delivery truck, I noticed that my focus would shift. If we were going only 35, I would notice different things. I could see the orange house nestled up on the hill that was way out of my field of vision when zooming by at 50. I could notice more about the fences that I wrote about previously.

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And so it became a practice of mindfulness. Not “how soon can I get out from behind this slowpoke?!” but “what is there for me to see today?” I can tell you it is much less stressful to focus on what there is to see than the few minutes later I’ll arrive. Who knows, maybe you’ll see an orange house, or a grove of trees, or someone riding horseback. (insert your own city/suburb version here) You all know what I’m saying so I’ll be brief and sign off with:

Stop and smell the roses, see the wonder that is in front of you. Turn a delay into a delight.

With love,

Ra