...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

Monday, February 7, 2011

I was alive to see #1

Duane Thomas, the former star running back of the Dallas Cowboys, was known to have put the Super Bowl in its proper context by suggesting that if the game was really so huge, why is it played every year?

In the early years, the game was big, at least for me. The Green Bay Packers had just beaten my Browns in the 1965 Championship Game, the first Browns game I remember watching. The muddy, frigid mess was by itself a spectacle.

The first Super Bowl ever was memorable for me- for reasons much bigger than football. I was a third grader in January of 1967, when I became seriously ill with a rapidly moving virus. In a few hours, my breathing began to shut down.

Dr. Bibbs, our next door neighbor, rushed over and worked with what we had available: he turned the vaporizer sideways and forced the moist air into my nose and mouth. Very soon two police officers appeared at my bedroom door, put an oxygen mask over my face, and wheeled me off to the hospital, where I stayed for several long days and nights at It was a pediatric ward at old Lakewood Hospital, and a television was "shared" in an outside hallway.

The next Sunday, the first Super Bowl was to be played. Dad, ever the letter writer, advised that I write a request to the physician to see if I could be discharged in time for the game. Request was granted upon my recovery. I went home that Saturday, and even got to see some of the game with some of my buddies.

Thankful for life and breath, this remembrance is not about any football game. The test of all happiness is gratitude, C.K. Chesterton noted. May you receive the gift of gratitude- and the joy that comes with it- today and always!

All that has breath, praise the Lord!

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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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