Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Dedicate Yourselves to Gratitude: Thoughts on the 2010 World Series Champions...

Watching the 2011 World Series is a little strange. The atmosphere, the hype, and the timing is remarkably familiar but it’s not exactly “déjà vu all over a again” (Yogi Berra). No, unfortunately for my Bay Area brethren and me, our beloved band of misfit toys, those San Francisco Giants ended their season in September. October baseball was not their fate.

To be honest, I dealt with it in late August. As baseball fans in a number of cities across the United States (sorry Canada!) supported their team in anticipation of the play-offs, I found myself in the City by the Bay still proclaiming one thing. I live and work in the home of the 2010 World Series Champion San Francisco Giants.

I took advantage of any given opportunity to remind friends--near and far--of this great distinction. I delight in sharing that reminder in e-mails, letters and phone conversations. Nowhere has victory been sweeter than in owning that title. It’s never gotten old; it’s not something I take for granted. I will relish these words until the St. Louis Cardinals or Texas Rangers capture them for the 2011 season.

San Francisco is known for its aesthetic beauty. A Victorian city built upon high hills & sand dunes, it is surrounded on three sides by water. Its Golden Gate Bridge is truly an architectural wonder of the world. And yet, this past year its great beauty was no longer to be found in its iconic vistas or landmarks. For me, it was in a World Series banner. When I first saw this flag flying above the San Francisco Bay against a clear blue sky, I did a double take. I gazed at it in wonder & awe.Fortunately for Giants fans, this banner is not something we surrender at the conclusion of the MLB season. No, as any banner does, it reminds us of what the Giants did; they won the last game of the season (the goal of A's General Manager, Billy Beane as stated in Moneyball).

Many years ago, I hung a homemade sign over my door that read: “Dedicate Yourselves to Gratitude.” I suppose it was my hope that I would live each day grateful for what God has given and will provide. Catholic Relief Services reminds us that “Gratitude is a gift from God. It gives us a way to respond to the Creator. With it, God gives us a way to respond to the brother who gives us a gift, to the sister who tends to a wound.”

In some small way, I think that World Series banner will remind me of Paul’s message to the Colossians. The 2010 San Francisco Giants gave this city a great gift last year. I have been grateful all year. And when I see another team later this week hold the Commissioner’s trophy, I will tip my hat to all those who can say they are from the city of the 2011 World Series Champions. Enjoy every minute of it.

Photo Credits

2011 World Series
Giants as Champions
Thing of Beauty

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