Sunday, November 6, 2011

This week's Pep Talk: "On Our Hearts"

It was one of those Centennial State early November weekend days that, at least for me proclaims, “Dang, I love living here.” A good bit of vegetation grooming in the alley was complete, along with quick chats with three alley-sharing neighbors in Denver’s delightful Congress Park neighborhood. One of the families loves the fact I’ve left up, despite little use, a basketball goal in the alley. As I think about their words: “Our kids like to shoot baskets on it” my heart warms with thanks.

It also makes me think of Bill McCartney, for a few reasons. First, he and I have a bet to settle. You see, each of us fancies ourselves as pretty good basketball players, especially at shooting. Sooner or later my buddy and I are gonna have a shooting contest. Not many folks know McCartney, known as an outstanding football coach, was a standout athlete in three sports growing up in Michigan. He was the first Michigan prep coach to ever win a state football and basketball time in same school year. The guy knows how to play, coach and win. During our frequent visits over water and mud he likes to make a “swish” sound while warning, with an ear-to-ear grin, not to mess with him on the basketball court. I’m not smart enough to heed his advice. I”m just a simple dude from Missouri. He’s gotta show me! I also ponder, it might be wise to join the neighbors’ kids and use the adjustable hoop.

And then another thought, centering around brainstorming with the only coach to lead the CU Buffs, in football, to a national championship, crashes into my cranium. Our time together has taken me to a new level of effective prayer and inspires me to share and hope you find value in it.

McCartney likes to suggest, “there is no discussion without dissension!” To that, I say, “amen brother.” Our brainstorming sessions about the Buffs to the Bone project and other topics get animated. At that time, something very cool usually happens: we will stop and say a quick prayer - clarity and courage - to truly speak what is on our heart. Honesty in the best policy, right?

I learned it - stopping for a quick prayer in times of adversity or joy - from Coach Mac. Thanks. This quick, painless and empowering act seems, at least for me, to calm the spirit and allow articulation of what’s burrowed in the heart. Then it does get tricky because we also want to make sure what’s on our hearts is good natured!

I dunno, thought you might like to try it this week. When you’re in one of those tough moments where you know honesty in the best policy, but that’s gonna take a lot of courage, stop. Say a quick prayer like, “Dear God, give me the strength to speak what is truly on my heart” and then, share your idea, thought or suggestion.

The question becomes, “What is truly on your heart?” The answer to that question is vast, wide and deep. Let’s try like heck this week to make sure answering that question lies within the playing field of honoring, nurturing and adding value to communities served wherever roaming - home, work and elsewhere.

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