Tipping the Scales

March 31st, 2008

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Schooling and stories
When you think of the American Civil War, what tipped the scales toward the North? Did they have better generals? Not if the names McDowell, McClellan, Burnside, and Hooker mean anything to you. Did the North display better tactics? Not if you’re familiar with Bull Run, the Seven Days battle, and Fredericksburg. In fact, the South probably enjoyed better soldiers, field commanders and armaments. What tipped the scales toward the North is the same thing that often tips an enemy toward becoming a friend.

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Press down.
Springboard diving supports Sir Isaac Newton’s theorem that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The harder you press down on the flexible board, the higher you spring back. So here’s a simple question: what did you do last Friday? Enjoy a movie or dinner with friends? Good. Did you also throw in an hour or two of sorrow? If you experienced both – joy and sorrow – you understand the good of Good Friday.

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Press down.
Springboard diving supports Sir Isaac Newton’s theorem that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The harder you press down on the flexible board, the higher you spring back. So here’s a simple question: what did you do last Friday? Enjoy a movie or dinner with friends? Good. Did you also throw in an hour or two of sorrow? If you experienced both – joy and sorrow – you understand the good of Good Friday.

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Scars and Skeptics

March 15th, 2008

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Healthy people
I have a friend whose right knee is stronger than his left. He has the scar to prove it – on his right knee. Dave’s scar began as a scab after reconstructive surgery for a tennis injury. Now that he’s healed, only the scar remains. Permanent scars and temporary scabs used to be part of the Christian story. That’s not the case so much today. It seems to me we’ve become more Freudian than faithful to our heritage.

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Say Hey
Long before Joe Montana connected with Dwight Clark in the 1982 NFL Championship game, there was The Catch. On September 29, 1954, Willie Mays made an improbable over-the shoulder snag of a 450-foot shot off the bat of Vic Wertz. It probably saved the game for the New York Giants. If you’re too young to remember the Say Hey Kid’s feat, you can catch it on YouTube. It might be the best picture of connecting Sunday to Monday in a “been there done that” world.

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Myopia
Larry Bird was slow of foot and suffered from White Man’s Disease. Wayne Gretzky was only 6 feet tall and weighed 160 pounds when pundits opined that he was “too small, too wiry, and too slow to be a force in the NHL.”1 Yet Bird and Gretzky are enshrined in their respective Halls of Fame. Both possessed a skill that made their teammates better players. You too can acquire it – not making better players but making the world better. The next 180 seconds will indicate whether you’re gaining this skill or not.

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