If You Think The Ballgames Over…

Think again.  Last night I watched one of my favorite collegiate teams win their 14th National Championship.  I know there is and always will be a dispute pertaining to how Alabama got fourteen national titles.  All I can say about that is, ‘it is what it is’.  I didn’t cast a vote any more this time than I did when they were given the title in the 1920’s, 30’s, 60’s or 70’s.  They’ve had a tradition of winning the right game at the right time and that’s what they did last night.  More than one person in this country down through the ages of college football thought this team or that team was the best there was and no other team in the nation could beat them. So that’s how they got ranked and that’s how they were able to get into a bowl game or even a championship game.  It’s not for you or me to decide and it’s not for one person to decide but a great number of people around the country.

If you really want to know about the best collegiate football team that has ever been in college football read up on the 1899 Suwanee Tigers football team also known as the “Iron Men”.  There is not a team that had been able to accomplished the feat of these men in one season before nor ever will.

Recently I saw a commercial on television where it showed all these different athletes and it said they will go on to other things besides sports.  In other words there are more important things in life than just football, basketball or baseball. It is good to win a game and it’s great to win championships but one game we all are playing in is the game of life and it takes a lifetime commitment to reap the rewards of winning that game.  One big victory we all can have is the victory over character.  Win or lose our character is a reflection of both. A good attitude toward others will go farther and last longer than the wounds that any one game had ever caused.

If the other team won I would congratulate them and wish them the best and move on. It wasn’t the end of my world (thank God) or the end of my life (really thank God).  Last year when Auburn beat Alabama in the Iron Bowl then went on to win the National Championship I congratulated them and the fans, was proud for them then I began looking forward to the next season.  I wanted Alabama to win but when they didn’t I’d rather have Auburn bring the title home to this great state than to see it go anywhere else.

I have my picks and if they don’t win so be it.  We may agree to disagree but I’m not going to call anyone all kinds of names and wish the worst on them or their team because I wouldn’t want it done to me.  I would rather have my character intact, win or lose, than anything else in life.  Nope, the ballgames not over quite yet.

A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor rather than silver and gold. Proverbs 22:1

While Vacationing, Vacation

Recently I went to where my wife worked in a restaurant.  At first I sat down for a moment to observe the people going in and out. They were almost standing out the door waiting to be served so I asked my wife if they needed any help. She told me I could start cleaning up some in the front and start washing dishes in the back.  To say the least I’m not above washing dishes or wiping tables in a restaurant. 

 The majority of the customers were travelers.  Heading to the beach or on their way home.  Someone could most certainly tell which were going and which were coming.  Those heading south were all excited and giddy, anticipating the moment when they can first set foot on the sand, hear the roar of the waves or smell of the salt water in the air.  Most of those heading home were blistered, looked exhausted and would not only be cranky to an employee of a convenient store or restaurant but some would be cranky to their own family.

When I did get a moment I went to the drink fountain to get me something to drink. I would smile and say ‘hey, how yaw doin’?’ to some of the patrons showing my best southern hospitality.  Some would smile back and say, ‘hey’; others wouldn’t say anything and ignore me. 

When I got to the drink fountain I noticed cup lids scattered everywhere,  paper from straws lying around and ice all over the counter.  I took a napkin and cleaned it all up and wiped it all down and went back to the ’employee table’ to set my drink down. 

There was a local customer standing next to me while I was cleaning up around the drink machine at the time and I made a comment to them that if people would make a mess here I would hate to see what their home looked like.

But I began to think about it all and came to one conclusion. When people take a vacation they don’t vacation.  The first thing that goes on vacation for me is myself.  I like to get the body in a vacation mode first.  I tell the family while traveling that we’ll get there when we get there.  I usually let the seat way back, set the cruise control, find a good station on the radio and totally chill.  No hurry to get there, no hurry to get back.  Many times I would watch people come flying around me and others on the road only to catch up to them in the next town or at a rest area.

The ones I noticed this weekend were in such a hurry they will pass everyone on the road, leave a mess for someone else to clean up and almost have an attitude toward other people who are working hard wishing they could take a vacation themselves.  I even smiled at someone and told them to have a safe trip and all I got in return was a half-grin that looked more like they were trying to pass gas as they rushed on out the door.

Has vacationing become more of a chore for a family than what it really was supposed to be for? Are people not happy to be vacationing with their families anymore? Are they not happy to be sharing quality time with their kids while teaching them virtues all at the same time?  Are we as Americans in such a hurry that we don’t want to take time out of our busy schedule to make someone elses day? If it is that much of a burden to not take the time to speak kindly to people and somewhat clean up behind yourself then I would suggest you to stay home.  I know no one is perfect. Kid’s will make a mess.  Adults will make a mess.  My home is far from perfect and it does look lived in. My wife and I’s pet-peave is the kitchen.  Neither one of us can stand a dirty kitchen. 

When you vacation take the time to make a friend everywhere you go.  I like to leave people with a smile because I don’t want them to forget me. I also want them to have the kind of day I plan to have–a good one.

And remember: your attitude and actions in public reflect of who you really are at  home. Have a great day and a safe trip while traveling.