...self care is never a selfish act- it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give it the care it requires, we do so not only for ourselves but for the many others whose lives we touch.

Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Another Lousy Night for Atheism?

When reliever Brad Lidge declared his gratitude to God and Jesus Christ for his game saving performance in the final game of the 2008 World Series, I thought, "Here we go again!"

Bringing a Championship glow to the hard living city of Philadelphia, he was just being sincere. The right hander is all the way back from that fateful blast off the bat of Albert Puholz in the post season of a few years ago. But this victory was about this city and this team, he said. Still, it's a remarkable story of recovery.

I am happy for Brad, former Astro, and also to Charlie Manuel, former Indians manager and the one who taught Manny and Thome alot about hitting. Anyway, it's great to see that both Brad and Charlie made good on the opportunities and the second chances the Phillies gave them. Both men had the courage to face their fears. Good for them and the Phillies!

Transcendence, or the ability to see the big picture, is one of the virtues listed by Seligman in the article on "The State of Positive Psychology" on this blog. I recommend it whatever your persuasion. Under "transcendence," there are several character traits: among them are hope, appreciation of beauty and excellence, gratitude, meaning or purpose (religiousness), and humor.

My thought is that Brad's expression of gratitude is beautiful; if he had been ungrateful, it would have been ugly. Having no one to thank is a terribly lonely stance toward life. Which is why I think that for every Atheist, there is a story. Often it's not at first about cogent logic as much as being wounded or abused by others, among them Christians.

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Having been in ordained ministry in the UMC for 34 years, I've experienced the truth that although, clergy are frequently present for others, no one can offer what they don't have.That's why if you're a clergy person, you need someone who will listen to you. Not the random next closest person available, but rather someone like a spiritual director, a therapist, a peer who can be fully present to you. I hope the links and posts you find here will give you ideas, humor, hope and encouragement. Scott Endress

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If you want a formula for making the best of the less-than-perfect and making the most of what you have been given, then begin to compare your lot to what you were before you were born, and it will empower you with wonder every time. John Claypool

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