I was supposed to be in Chicago.
Mom was going downhill quickly. We’d been told she could pass any day. I thought I’d be proactive and go to help my two sisters with end-of-life preparations. The two of them have carried the burden of Mom’s care for the past several years.
Then I get a call from my sister. Seeing her number had my mind going to an inevitable end.
Though she’d not taken in anything for at least eight days, the nurses had gotten her to eat again, and she was more relaxed than she’d been. I was encouraged to wait to come up.
So I went with John to the Super Bowl.
We’d been invited as guests months ago. Arrangements had already been made. My heart was in Chicago. The game didn’t mean much to me. I felt conflicted about going. Guilty for having fun. Fearful I wasn’t being a good daughter, that I wasn’t doing enough. I was becoming a Debbie Downer.
I wasn’t in a party mood. And there’s no bigger party than the Super Bowl.
Getting the chance to go became an unexpected blessing.
Our organization puts on a sanctioned breakfast at the Super Bowl where the Athletes In Action Bart Starr Award was presented. Voted on by peers, it’s given to the NFL player who best exemplifies outstanding character and leadership on the field and off.
Benjamin Watson of the Baltimore Ravens won the award. An articulate man who has made a lifestyle out of helping others whose hope and potential have been minimized, he uses his platform as an NFL player to meet needs of many who have no hope.
He didn’t hesitate to share that it was his relationship with Jesus Christ that has motivated him to care for others, no matter what the cost. He wants to leave a legacy of hope and possibility for those whose lives he’s touched.
He reminded the audience that we can choose the attitude of our lives. Maybe not the trajectory, but how we live in the moment. How we can use what we’ve been given with grace and gratitude.
I’d been forgettimg to be grateful.
The Super Bowl was a victory for the underdog. When the Philadelphia Eagles won, commentators said the camaraderie and discipline of the players, the community they had developed, were decisions made by those involved that pushed them to a victory over the Patriots.
Choices are made by the substance of our character. Carson Wentz, Nick Foles and Coach Doug Pederson and their faith in Jesus brought this group of men together as a unit who overcame odds. They developed closeness, trust and dealing with conflict and tension well. A legacy they can build on.
I can’t ride on anyone’s coattails or blame anyone for my choices. I need to own what I choose to do. The good and the bad.
Life will always be filled with good and bad. Hard choices and no brainers. I choose how I’ll deal with them. Jesus gives me a clarity to choose well.
That’s the best win for this underdog.