To The Children's Children's Children's...From G-Pa Cliff
ZERO PLUS 1137 DAYS--New
York, NY, Sunday, October 24, 2004--
SERIES PLAYERS' PRAYERS HIT HOME RUNS WITH ANGELS OF VIGILANCE
Rivera reaching up for the Angels of Vigilance during
a past year of Yankee triumph
The world is smiling in the midst of madness.
The Angels of Vigilance shine over the Beasts of Terror.
Part of the reason is the World Series.
players are calling upon the Angels of Vigilance
The best baseball players in the world are
competing for the title of World Champions, and the majority
of them are calling upon the Angels of Vigilance to help them
compete not just for themselves, but for a world free from madness.
Baseball is more than just a sport in the year
2004. It's a religious feast. A spiritual cornucopia. A reminder
that we all owe our gifts of life and hope and belief to a force
greater than ourselves and our selfish concerns.
Players from all over the world come onto the
field, many of them from improvised backgrounds like Yankee
relief pitcher Mariano Rivera who started playing baseball in
Panama City with a glove made from cardboard, and worked his
way up to become one of the game's legendary closers.
countless stories of rags to riches among baseball players
from all over the world
Countless stories of rags to riches prevail
among baseball players, including those who come here to play
from Japan as well as Mexico, Puerto Rico and South America.
But, if you look closely at baseball players
you'll notice that the vast majority do not play by themselves.
They have angels with them.
Study a baseball player earning millions of
dollars and you'll note that he crosses himself before he bats,
or kisses a medal and tucks it inside his shirt before every
pitch, or, when he bangs the ball out of the park and trots
around the bases, he's pointing up to the Heavens, reminding
everyone that he had a little help in doing his job.
For the skeptic, agnostic, atheist or simple
Doubting Thomas like myself, I find it refreshing that the greatest
players in the world, paid millions upon millions of dollars,
stop and take the time to thank a power greater than themselves
for their great athletic gifts and Hall of Fame feats.
petitions or thanksgivings aren't as evident in sports
other than baseball
If players in other sports pause to pray or
give thanks to some deity, it's not very noticeable and not
very frequent. I can't remember the Williams' sisters dropping
to their knees and thanking the heavens for their victories,
or Tiger Woods crossing himself or pointing up to the Putting
Gods in thanks for sinking the fifty-footer to break the PGA
This doesn't suggest or imply that any of these
people aren't religious, or don't have incredible degrees of
faith or belief in some force that granted them the skills and
ability to be the world's best at what they do.
It just isn't as obvious in other sports--if
it exists--as it is in baseball.
majority of ball players have Angels of Vigilance with
Some may claim the reason for the adoration
to a Higher Power of Competition is that most of the baseball
players come from Catholic backgrounds, especially those from
Hispanic or Latin American backgrounds where the Catholic Church
dominates and devotionalism is not uncommon.
And one can't say it's because baseball is
a team sport. So is football. But rarely does one see a football
team offering up prayers except in old movies about Knute Rockne
engaging the Irish Angels to run interference for him.
As a Parent and Grandparent of Vigilance, there's
something powerful about major competitors offering thanks to
the Angels of Vigilance.
So often all of us take for granted our skills
and abilities and forget to give thanks for them on a frequent
basis. A mother who spends a day watching, nurturing, caring
for, managing, teaching, coaching, supervising and caring for
her children is like a baseball professional. She competes to
keep her child happy, joyous, free from want and protected from
the pain and Terror of abuse that could so easily infect the
child were the mother to be sharp tongued, cold, indifferent
to the child.
We take for granted our working skills. How
often each day do we pause when we achieve something at work
and point to the sky and thank the Heavens that we can compete,
that we have a job, that we are doing something productive and
Maybe we can all take a lesson from the World
Series in this respect. Maybe watching the game isn't so much
about which team will win as much as it is about how each team
offers thanks for being able to compete.
thanking his Higher Power
Certainly, the prayers offered by the baseball
professionals isn't about money. Each of them could buy tons
of churches and hire their own ministers to walk beside them.
But, most of them realize they got to where they are in life
because of their belief in something greater than themselves,
a belief that transcends money, prestige and power.
At least, that's what I get out of the World
When I see a player praying, I see a man reaching
up into the sky to hold the hands of the Angels of Vigilance.
I see a man not afraid to ask for help, and
not afraid to admit that the Beast of Terror would love him
to forget to give thanks for his gifts so those gifts could
be cheapened and then taken away.
I hope each family reminds their children to
note how often the baseball players pray or give honor to something
greater than themselves.
I hope each
family reminds their children to note baseball players
are honoring something greater than themselves
They are, in essence, taking the Vow of Vigilance
each time they do, for they know that winning is about having
more Courage than Fear, more Conviction than Intimidation and
taking more Right Actions for the right reasons than falling
into pits of Complacency.
The Angels of Vigilance are swinging the bats
at the World Series.
And, if we all take our Vows of Vigilance daily,
they will swing ours too.
To Yesterday's Story: "Blowing The Leaves Of Time - A Child's
Power Over Nature"
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