Sunday, October 26, 2014

Reflections from the Home Team October 26, 2014

Reflections from the Home Team October 26, 2014

Greetings from Cedar Falls,

It’s been a while since I have written a Reflection, so I wanted to take a moment to update you all since my last Reflection in May. I had a recent visit to Iowa City given some ongoing concerns with side effects of treatments, and the good news is that my counts all have returned to the “normal” range. In short, the “visiting team” has not returned for extra innings which is good news, and I’m working through those ongoing side effects.  As I shared in my last Reflection, I had some cardiac issues which were corrected with the implant of a pacemaker in July and was just recently cleared of those restrictions.  Some genetics at play of which I have little control, but once again, I’m very thankful for the medical support I have received and the fact the pacemaker has allowed me to once again “pick up the pace”!  Often needed here at the Junior High…

Hey, it’s October and the baseball playoffs and World Series are in full swing!  This is always a good time of year if you’re a baseball fan. This year’s World Series teams (Giants and Royals) have done a good job of taking some of the negatives that have happened during their regular seasons and, without complaining, came up with some innovative solutions to get their teams to the October classic. Whether its Giants catcher Buster Posey returning to MVP form after a season ending leg injury in 2011, or the Royals hot hitting first baseman Eric Hosmer coming back from a serious August hand injury, they have found a way to be positive contributors. 

I’ve taken a note or two on their “no complaining rules” and have tried to apply them to my life.  As I’ve watched others I care for suffer and battle cancer and all the nasty things it brings with it, it would be easy to fall into the “trap” of complaining.  I wanted to share some recent reading I have been doing about “complaining” as I find it helpful to try to fill my mind with positive thoughts to avoid that trap that can be so easy to fall into. Two books, The No Complaining Rule by Jon Gordon and A Complaint Free World by Will Bowen have provided me some positive thoughts that I have taken with me on a daily basis that help me to look at ways to turn potential negatives into positives, while realizing that any constructive changes we make in the world must first start with ourselves. Jon Gordon sums up his thoughts in a brief reflection with some of his writing below.

Life and Death by Jon Gordon
Two weeks ago my family and I were on a plane from LAX heading to Atlanta. Shortly after taking off and soaring above 10,000 feet the plane abruptly slowed down and the power went out as the pilot spoke over the sound system, "We're experiencing a mechanical failure and heading back for an emergency landing."

 The next moment the plane descended so rapidly that my head hurt and I thought we were going down. I looked at my wife and son, who were sitting to the left and a few rows back since we couldn’t get seats together, and saw the fear in my wife's eyes. I grabbed my daughters hand as she sat in the seat directly in front of me.
She asked, "Should I be scared Dad?"

 "Just pray," I said.

 This can't be happening, I thought. We’re not ready to die. I still have three more books that I know I'm meant to write. I grabbed my phone and tweeted that we were making an emergency landing at LAX and if we didn't make it that I love everyone.  A few minutes later the plane leveled off as I watched off duty airline employees, who were sitting in passenger seats, get up and run to the back of the plane. The pilot announced that we were going to make an emergency landing and to brace for impact. He said there would be emergency vehicles there to meet us and that the flight attendants were trained on what to do when we landed.

 While everything seemed eerily calm and quiet I couldn't stop thinking about the plane catching on fire or splitting in two when we landed.

Miraculously and thankfully we made a safe landing. The pilot said there was a fire in one of the engines but when we landed the fire was extinguished.

 When we walked off the plane my 14 year old son put his arm around me and said, "It means we have more work to do Dad. God has a plan for us."

What a good way to look at life, especially after facing the possible loss of it, something all cancer patients experience when diagnosed.  We all are faced with many “challenges” in life, and it can be so easy to fall into a complaining mode when those challenges come knocking on our door.  Just as the Royals and Giants have found ways to overcome adversity to get to the Fall Classic “without complaining”, we too can face challenges with the help of those around us… what I would refer to as my “Home Team”.
 Instead of complaining when hardships come our way, lean on those “Home Team” members and show your gratitude for their help. As inspirational writer William Arthur Ward writes; “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” Let’s remember that it is not enough to be grateful for the people and things of your life…for your gratitude to impact others you must also express it. After all, we all have more work to do according to God’s plan!

Blessings to each of you and your families, and enjoy the rest of this exciting World Series!

Link to: Reflections from the Home Team BLOG

Link to Vimeo: Reflections from the "Home Team"... Go the Distance
Link to: Tommy Emmanuel and "Angelina"