Thursday, October 31, 2013

You Know You're Old When...Thanks Big Pappi and Stan Bowman

At some point in time, every single one of us knows how to respond to the prompt "You know you're old when...." Two championship games this past year have helped me realize and accept the passing of my youth with humility, confidence and maybe even a smile. Sigh.
He's no Jamie Moyer, but at 38....
Thanks to the World Series I can now say....You know you're old when you're cheering for the old guy, simply because he's old. i.e. your age. 

As fans showered David Ortiz with love, praise and maniacal cheers for his offensive explosion throughout the World Series, I took delight in the fact that "Big Papi" is 38. Granted, he plays DH which is less physically demanding than any other position in baseball, but he hit the curve, took it deep, and serves as a reminder that athletes in their late 30s still got it. Ortiz is the third oldest World Series MVP and I love him for it.

I still remember Bowman wore a faded Detroit Redwings hat
Thanks to the Stanley Cup, I can now say....You know you're old when your peer is the GM of the team. 

I remember when every professional athlete was nearly double my age. Then along came some young folk who found success quite early—Jennifer Capriati, Michael Chang, Ken Griffey, Jr. to name a few. During my time at Notre Dame, I realized some of my own classmates would pursue athletics beyond school; they would and did attempt to making a living at it. Those were good years. Watching people roughly my age inspired me to train and compete harder. Then the numbers and the clock caught up. Now I am almost double the age of the men and women on the field. My peers' careers have slowly and subtly come to an end due to injury, fatigue, new talent, etc. Steve Nash who is exactly one week older than me is holding on...Thank you!

This past spring, I was amazed to read "Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman fittingly is the architect of the franchise's second NHL championship in four years because he's named after the Stanley Cup (Kevin Allen)" Bowman was a year ahead of me at Notre Dame! 

I still remember seeing him and his buddies from Keenan in North Dining Hall. We knew that his father, Scotty Bowman, was a professional coach. Little did we know that the Bowman legacy would live on in this way. It's one thing when your peers are the athletes; it's another when they work in the front office. Dang, we're old.

It should go without saying however, age is just a number. As affirmed in Genesis 24:1 Abraham was old, having seen many days, and the Lord had blessed him in every way. The next Chapter says that he died at 175! I have often wondered about those numbers... For example, Deuteronomy 34:7 says Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were undimmed and his vigor unabated. Way to go Moses!

I try to never lose sight of the fact that life is a gift and with age, comes wisdom and increased perspective. Furthermore, the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Blackhawks couldn't have done it without my peers and "In the end, it's not the years in your life that count, but the life in your years." (Abraham Lincoln).  Amen.

Photo Credits
Stan Bowman

David Ortiz

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Case Against Perfection: The Story of a 4'9" Running Back

I have taught Foundations of Ethics: Morality and Justice, a required course for juniors at St. Ignatius College Prep for the past 11 years. The best part of teaching this course, apart from the curiosity, questions and spirit of my students, is the fact that even when you think you have seen and heard it all, life presents you with a new story, a fresh example or an unlikely choice. Enter in Jayson Carter, the 4'9" running back at Rice University.
My colleague, Sean, shared the Deadspin post with me, thinking it would be of interest to seniors in Sports & Spirituality. Little did he know, it served as s striking counterpoint to questions of bioethics that my juniors are raising in our study of Life Issues.

Due to a genetic disorder, Carter, is but 130 pounds and stands under 5 feet tall. While most would imagine his limited stature to be a detriment in most competitive, athletic endeavors, Carter "isn't on the team out of sympathy; he ran for 1,233 yards and 18 touchdowns at Kipp High School in Houston." What may seem like a disability, or an invitation in the world of Genetic Enhancement for something more, is but one quality that makes this young man unique and inspirational. 

"Carter even played defense, racking up 92 tackles, 152 assisted tackles, three sacks and an interception." Furthermore, he walked on the team at the invitation of a friend and fellow teammate. It says one thing to me that he was encouraged to give it a go at the next level, let alone a D-1 team. It says another that he listened and pursued the dream. 

It was striking to watch him play just days after a Religion and Ethics Newsweekly article and video we discussed in class. Genetic Enhancement raises fascinating and important questions made possible by today's medical technology. It states "Parents want to give their children every advantage in life—music lessons, tutoring, sports camps. They also want to do whatever is possible to make their children healthy. But what about going beyond opportunities and health to enhancement, making kids bigger or smarter or more talented? Science is opening that door in a big way, and many ethicists debate where the line between health and enhancement should be."

Jayson Carter's attitude and accomplishments serve as a wonderful example for what Harvard Professor Michael Sandel writes about in "The Case Against Perfection." While it may not be a direct quid pro quo—for example, medically there may not be a way to treat Carter's condition. But, what he does on the field and the impact he has made on others suggests he has done quite a lot! If there were medical options to make the change—Would Carter and his family? Should they?

My students shared thoughtful responses to Carter's story. They loved seeing what he was able to do on the field and they took offense at the announcers who referred to him as "the little guy." We discussed the balance between describing someone as they are and being okay with how we are. We stressed the importance of how we describe one another—maybe "little guy" is somewhat derogatory. Is there another way to get the point across, be honest and again be okay with that? 

At the end of it all, one student said "I love that when they asked the coach how tall he was, he said 'I have no idea'. That's the spirit of it." 

Perhaps it is—when we see someone for who they truly are, how they look, how short or tall they may or may not be, we have a whole new vision. I like that lens...

Photo Credits
Jayson Carter

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Praying with....a sports image.

Many of us were taught to close our eyes when we pray, but that never worked for me. I'm not entirely sure why it didn't, but I do think that explains why I have been drawn to praying with icons. This spiritual practice is "an ancient prayer one that involves keeping our eyes wide open, taking into our heart what the image visually communicates. We focus not on what is seen in the icon, but rather on what is seen through it - the love of God expressed through God's creatures." (Religious Icons)
Cover one half of his face and you
will see the human face of Christ.
Then look again

Indeed religious icons can "serve as bridges to Christ, as links with the saints, as reminders of pivotal events in the history of salvation (Aggie Catholics)." One that I pray with regularly (and have referenced many times) has deepened my love for Jesus because of not only who I see, but the way I understand the Lord sees me. It captures Christ's humanity and divinity by a nuance to each side of his face, in particular to his eyes. I know that Christ looks at me through both lenses. He knows my humanity to its fullness—and still His mercy endures. 

Because this method has worked well for me (given my personality, temperament, etc), because I seek to "Find God in All Things," and because I believe not only in the Communion of Saints but of saints (lower case "s"), I thought perhaps I could pray with other images. This wasn't something I had done before. I believe there is much to be said for formal prayer and praying with what the Church recognizes as sacred and holy, and yet I consider any invitation to "lift our hearts and minds to God" to be a good thing. Perhaps it's new or unconventional—I'm ok with a "lower theology." So.... 

In the same way that you are called to let the icon speak to you, I thought sports images, yet sports images that might do this. I thought "surely, there are one or two images that stand out" among the the hundreds I have stored on my computer. I considered those that have served as my cover shot on my Facebook page or others now saved into a favorite album. And then I saw it....Buster Posey holding up Tim Lincecum.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Some who see this photo recognize it is two baseball players, San Francisco Giants in their road uniforms. The joy on their face is brilliant; they are very happy. But when I look at this image, I see so much more.

This photo was taken on July 13, 2013 when “The Freak,” “The Franchise,” the two-time Cy Young award winning pitcher Tim Lincecum threw a no-hitter against the San Diego Padres.  

What's interesting is in the 2012 season, Posey was not behind the plate for Lincecum. Posey might be in the game, but playing at first base (part of this was due to his rehab for a broken ankle). However, it was no secret to anyone that although teammates, the two did not get along. Evidently, Posey called #55 out—challenging him to word harder, to be more disciplined. Lincecum didn't take that well. Tensions were high and relations were strained. I have no idea what happened from one season to the next (maybe it was the haircut...maybe it was another World Series title), but on this fateful night, this duo made something happen.

Lincecum will be forever remembered for his talent, strength and finesse. That is proven by this win, among many others. His name goes in the record books for this individual record, but the no-hitter is contingent on much more. The "no-no" is made possible by teammates in the outfield who have outstanding catches, infielders who convert dramatic plays and most especially the catcher who frames pitches behind the plate and calls out what to throw and when.

I think this speaks to life. We accomplish great things. Our gifts and talents are often on display and it feels good when they are recognized or celebrated. But praying with this image reminds us we don't get there alone. Family and friends hold us up along the way. Perhaps those relations have been difficult ones in the past; maybe because of God's grace they are changed. Maybe we have been the person supporting someone else. This image gives me reason to consider those two questions
  1.  Who has been a Buster Posey in your life?
  2. When have you been Posey for someone?
Pray with and for that person. Give thanks to God for their support. Reflect on how God has worked through a variety of relationships in your life—teammates, co-workers, friends, extended family, your home.

I invite you to pray with an image of your own. One where you may know the "story within the story." Let that story guide your prayer. Amen

Photo Credits
Jesus Icon

Posey holds Timmy

Saturday, October 19, 2013

A Case for Temperance...and Prudence: Thank you Boston Red Sox

For non-Boston Red Sox fans, watching the AL East Champions play in the post-season can only prompt one question: What's up with beards? As a San Francisco Giants fan, said facial hair and the "Fear the Beard" is nothing new. Hockey fans, Oregon State football and plenty of other sports fans understand. But the sheer number of them on the field at Fenway coupled by their length, has given pause. What's the deal?
Would it be inappropriate to create a similar chart for the 12 Apostles?
I believe the article "Bonding with Beards: The Red Sox Repair their Clubhouse Chemistry" provided some answers.  
The Red Sox’ fun with facial follicles started innocently enough when Napoli and outfielder Jonny Gomes grew beards during spring training. It became something more than a fad when Pedroia, a second baseman and one of the team’s most popular players, joined Napoli and Gomes in taking a sabbatical from shaving cream. 
There was suddenly the sense around the clubhouse that beards were not merely a fashion accessory but a way to build stronger bonds after the Red Sox’ struggles last season, when they lost 93 games, finished last in the A.L. East and bid adieu to Manager Bobby Valentine. 
Valentine was replaced by Farrell, who was part of the Red Sox’ coaching staff when they won the World Series in 2007. Farrell took the job with an understanding of Boston’s unique clubhouse dynamics — as a team that had a carefree spirit. That was most apparent in 2004, when a band of self-described “idiots” won their first World Series in 86 years. 
To quote Joe Cussen re: Mike Napoli "What a beast!"
The Red Sox are known for doing things their way—in a way that speaks to the good, the bad and the ugly. Perhaps you think those bushy beards meet all three descriptors. But one thing is worth noting that separates this team from the 2003 "Cowboy Up" crew as well as the 2004 "idiots." Their unique clubhouse dynamics have been tempered.  Perhaps, their success is more than just good team chemistry. I think it's a call for the virtue of temperance.

I can't wait for ESPN to complete a "30 for 30" on the final day of the 2011 MLB regular season. In a crazy series of events, a number of teams either gained entry into the wild card play-off and/or post-season playoffs by a combination of wins and losses in one single night. 
That Red Sox team had a nine-game wild-card lead with less than a month in the season. When Johnthan Papelbon blew his third save of the seaon in the ninth inning to Baltimore, the BoSox essentially waded in their own demise. And that goes back to their "unique clubhouse dynamics."

The starting roation, specifically Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, John Lackey and occassionally Clay Buchholz had been accused of regularly drinking beer and eating fast-food fried chicken while play video games in the clubhouse during games. 

Although I find such antics amusing, I know it was at a cost. Fraterinzation helps teams. However,  when and how men (and women) do so, requires another virture—prudence. 
According to the Cathechism of the Catholic Church,
Prudence is the virtue that disposes practical reason to discern our true good in every circumstance and to choose the right means of achieving it; "the prudent man looks where he is going." [Prov 14:15.] "Keep sane and sober for your prayers." [1 Pet 4:7] Prudence is "right reason in action," writes St. Thomas Aquinas, following Aristotle. [St. Thomas Aquinas, STh II-II, 47, 2] It is not to be confused with timidity or fear, nor with duplicity or dissimulation. It is called auriga virtutum (the charioteer of the virtues); it guides the other virtues by setting rule and measure. It is prudence that immediately guides the judgment of conscience. The prudent man determines and directs his conduct in accordance with this judgment. With the help of this virtue we apply moral principles to particular cases without error and overcome doubts about the good to achieve and the evil to avoid. [17881780]
Moreover, virtues never work alone. Had this team practiced temperance, that nine game lead may have stayed in tact.  
Temperance is the moral virtue that moderates the attraction of pleasures and provides balance in the use of created goods. It ensures the will's mastery over instincts and keeps desires within the limits of what is honorable. The temperate person directs the sensitive appetites toward what is good and maintains a healthy discretion: "Do not follow your inclination and strength, walking according to the desires of your heart." [Sir 5:2; cf. 37:27-31] Temperance is often praised in the Old Testament: "Do not follow your base desires, but restrain your appetites." [Sir 18:30] In the New Testament it is called "moderation" or "sobriety."
Perhaps fate would have taken the course that it did...but I know Red Sox management changed rules and expectations of players during games as a result. 

I don't doubt that the 2011 team had good chemistry—it sounds like that had a lot of fun, but teamwork, focus and intention must be disciplined. Prudence allows for an individual to determine how, temperance sees that practice is put in place. This year, it appears as though a collection of beards has kept the focus not only on the field and very close to every individual. A beard divided will not stand...right?

Manager John Farrell noted “The characteristic of this club is to grind all the way through to the end." I love when you can use the verb grind to describe what a team does. I think that's true for what this team has done on the field and one their faces...

Good luck Boston....

Photo Credits
Mike Napoli is such a beast
2001 Clubhouse Antics

Friday, October 18, 2013

A Different Kind of Game Day....

Fridays in the fall are special. And football fans know why...  Game day is nigh.

As a Notre Dame alum, I don't know that I will ever forget that feeling that accompanied a home football weekend. It was one of great anticipation. Who was coming into town for the game? What family members would visit? Who would speak at the Pep Rally? What celebrities were rumored to be on campus—including my all time favorite—Would Pearl Jam really perform at Senior Bar (before the Florida State match-up in 1993)? And why was Tony Gwynn there? Today, however, my appreciation for game day has only deepened because of the comprehensive experience that the University offers. 
There was a time when Notre Dame was considered "just a football school"—although a Catholic one. Thanks to the vision and efforts of Father Hesburgh, the University was transformed to a first-class, co-ed academic institution. Today, its faculty, research facilities and graduate schools are renown. And I believe the continued evolution of the game day experience—now a game weekend—is a humble yet thoughtful reflection of who we are, what we do and why "we are ND."

I received an e-mail from Alumni Association director, Dolly Duffy about On  the Sidelines: Football Fridays Academic Series, I wish I had attended the one given when I was on campus for the Michigan State weekend.  Instead, I was playing golf on the impressive Warren Golf course.  A first rate course, I was delighted that my alumni discount made the price quite reasonable. For those who may not have the time to play 18, there is a nine hole course on campus that is even more affordable. I have played both, and was able to rent clubs and play with fellow alumni who I met on the first tee! Oh and both parties invited me to their tailgate the next day...

And yet golf isn't the only sport worth considering on game weekend. Throwing a football at some time on any given quad is mandatory and so is walking the breadth of campus or running around St. Mary's and St. Joseph's lakes. For those who are seeking to channel their inner-linebacker, Rolfs Sports Recreation Center as well as "The Rock" are open up to 80-minutes before game time.
It was announced earlier this week that the Pep Rally for the USC weekend will be held outside, with Touchdown Jesus serving as a striking backdrop. Special guests include the 1988 National Championship team with Coach Lou Holtz speaking upon the 25th anniversary of their undefeated season.

When the real "game day" actually arrives, there are honestly too many traditions to count. I encourage you to develop your own and give thanks for two that struck me as important. 

One is that there is an Alcoholics Anonymous Meeting on Saturday morning in the Center for the Social Concerns. A football weekend, with ample time in bars or at tailgates, may be difficult for some. As an ardent supporter of the 12-step program, I am grateful that this resource is readily available and promoted on campus.  

And in that same building is a series called "Saturdays with the Saints." Each one-hour presentation is given by a distinguished ND faculty member . John Cavidini, chair of the Theology department, created the series to nourish our faith in a new and fresh way—by offering talks about holy men and women who serve as "windows of God's love."

I was impressed by the varied ages of those in attendance, their thoughtful questions and the Christian witness of the professor. Margaret Pfeil, struck me as a holy woman who wasn't just teaching us about the Four Women Martyrs of El Salvador. Rather, she challenged us to live as these women did—with joy, for the poor and in solidarity with those who suffer. 

It is also worth noting that there are three other series of lectures: Saturday Scholar Series, Saturday Science Exploration Series and The Dooley Society Lecture. I hope this serves as one way to defend the cost of tuition?

I wonder how Game day will continue to evolve in the years to come...
I envy those who are there for this special weekend...
I am grateful the many game days past and for those to come!

Photo Credits

Monday, October 14, 2013

Some Things Are Just Not Okay....

In the past when I have quoted Mary Oliver's poem "Instructions on How to Live a Life," I use it in context to reveal a moment of grace. Or, to highlight the beauty of the human spirit, humanity at its best. Oliver writes: 
1. Pay Attention
2. Be Astonished
3. Tell About it.
I knew those same words could also work against me. Sometimes incredible events are just that—hard to believe. Two events that occurred this past Sunday serve as case in point.
Calais Campbell is met by paramedics, EMT and the Cardinals training staff
On Sunday October 13 at Candlestick Park, Forty-Niner fans did a curious thing. Late in the game, Calais Campbell, a defensive end for the Arizona Cardinals was down on the field and the clock stopped. Paramedics, EMT and trainers from both teams attended to him. Ted Robinson, the voice of the Niners called attention to the severity of the moment, speaking with great concern about what was going on, who was helping and why. 

If you were listening to the game however, it would have been hard to hear Robinson deliver this message. Why? Niner fans were standing and cheering as they did "The Wave."
I've always thought this cheer was way overrated. Not it's accompanied by that which is inappropriate.
These fans—primarily those sitting in the second deck— were so enthused, so focused on the success of the Niners and the impending victory, that they let the wave gain momentum.  Robinson was notably taken aback.  He said "49er fans, if you are listening, please stop. We have a man down on the field.  This is ridiculous. Please pay attention!" 

Robinson wasn't the only one calling for the cheer to stop. According to Bill Williamson of ESPN, "Several 49ers offensive players, who remained on the field while Campbell was being examined, gestured to the crowd to halt the wave."

I truly believe that fans make a difference. In football, they can be so loud that their noise can hurt the opposing teams when they are aiming to communicate with one another. Good fans are never to be taken for granted. But this gesture of support was simply not okay.  It could have been different. The CEO and owner Jed York agrees.  
In today's day and age, I often feel that people e.g. fans do what they want.  Rather than pay attention and enter into a situation or scenario with reverence and respect, they do their own thing.  And that speaks to my sentiment behind what I saw at Sunday mass later that same evening.

Sitting in front of me was a man drinking from his Starbucks grande latte as if we were in a coffee shop. Don't get me wrong, I love coffee. I don't plan on giving it up anytime soon. But I don't think it's appropriate to bring it to the holy sacrifice of the mass on Sunday or any other day of the week.

There are some places that can and should remain sacred.  As much as I'm a slave to the bean, it has no place in this setting. No other adult or young one came with any other beverage or snack. Mass is but an hour—perhaps you disagree...but I think it can wait.

When I enter into a church or synagogue, I do so with humility and eyes wide open. I pay attention to how people are dressed, the volume of their voice and how they interact with one another.  Rather than be astonished by the inappropriate gestures of others, I hope I will be astonished in how God is be revealed in the Word, the world, and one another. 

So here I am to tell about it...I hope next time, it's back to the positive.

Picture Credits.
Exit Campbell

Saturday, October 12, 2013

I Wish I Was Justin Verlander

I wish I was Justin Verlander....

I don't know how many women in America feel this way; I'm sure many men do.

I wish I were Verlander not because he's a professional athlete, not because he dated a supermodel, and not because he makes $28 million dollars a year to do what he loves doing. No, I wish I were the Detroit Tigers' ace not because of what he does, but because of how he does it. 
I'm not a huge A's fan, but I wanted October baseball to stay in the Bay Area.  I watched Game 5 of the ALDS with the hope that the Athletics might prevail. Tigers and A's fans know what I saw: total domination. #35 took a no-hitter into the seventh inning.  JV made it a postseason-record 30 straight scoreless innings against one team; he allowed only two hits and three men on base in eight innings.  

There are even more impressive numbers behind his feat but there's an aspect to Verlander's craft that only those who watched can understand. His statistics can allude to it, but what I saw speaks to the power of witness. 

There were several outs in that game where Verlander didn't even wait for the called third strike from the umpire. He simply walked off the mound and headed for the dugout. He knew that third batter of the inning was another victim to his fastball, thus ending the side. His motto? TCB--Takin' Care of Business. His action? Don't look back. His message? Let's do this.
I wondered what would it be like to be so confident in what you do, that you can present yourself in such a way that says "I own this." What's it like to have everything depending on you only to respond with "I'm going to deliver—thank you very much." Do I believe in my ability enough that the response from authority doesn't matter. It's an interesting and humbling way to reflect on what you do and how you do it.

I brought this image a step further. Do I have enough conviction behind my beliefs—doctrinal, moral, or personal that I could stand behind them in a similar way? I think I might. That love is a powerful force and the Incarnation made all the difference are two of them. So the sanctity of life. Try me.

It should go without saying that no one gets to that place without a relentless commitment to the cause—perseverance and focus. Verlander Sends Tigers Past A's in Game 5 Gem" confirms that Verlander did that. "I'm pitching the way I'm supposed to. I worked my butt off all year to try to get consistent and get myself where I needed to be," Verlander said. "I feel like it finally paid off at the end of the year."
It certainly did. I can't speak to the ambiance at the Oakland Coliseum, but from my vantage point all I saw was mercury rising. 

I've been around for enough postseasons now to know these games are extraordinary. We see the best of the best in October and Verlander in Game 5 was no exception. And these games speak to us not only because of the gifts and talents of great athletes on display, and not because their teams and communities rally behind them with great passion but because I believe they always reveal something about someone that goes much deeper.  

A truth about humanity...a glimpse of beauty that is one for the insight that we can all stand behind with total conviction. TCB. I own this. Don't look back. Believe.  Thanks JV

Photo Credits
Fist Pump
Humbled by the SF Giants ;-)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Scripture and Sport: Thank You Jeremy Lin

In his apostolic letter Porta Fidel Pope Benedict XVI declared a "Year of Faith" to begin on October 11, 2012 and conclude on November 24, 2013.  Perhaps you have seen a banner in your parish marking the journey or attended a talk related to how the Church will emphasize the theological virtue of faith. In Paul's letter to the Hebrews he writes that Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen (11:1). It is often accompanied by a leap. It can be weak or strong, vibrant and vital. Faith is a gift—a pearl of great price.

The Church and its leaders are guided by faith.  The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops writes “In the Acts of the Apostles, we learn that God has opened the door of faith for the early Church. But did you know that God has opened the door of faith for each one us and he invites us to step through the threshold into a deeper relationship with him. The upcoming Year of Faith is an opportunity for every Catholic to turn towards Jesus Christ, encounter him in the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist and rediscover the Faith and Church."
 This past year, I have prayed with this image. When did I see the face of Christ today?
BXVI called us in three specific ways to deepen our relationship to Christ—essentially to reveal the message of 17:5 Lord! increase our faith.
1.     Study and reflect on the documents of Vatican II
2.     Deepen knowledge and understanding of the Catechism
3.     Focus on the “New Evangelization” first promoted by John Paul II at the new millennium
While many Catholics are aware of Vatican II and the Catechism, this “New Evangelization” is largely unfamiliar.  What is it?

According to the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops, “The New Evangelization calls each of us to deepen our faith, believe in the Gospel message and go forth to proclaim the Gospel. The focus of the New Evangelization calls all Catholics to be evangelized and then go forth to evangelize. The New Evangelization invites each Catholic to renew their relationship with Jesus Christ and his Church.”

Evangelization isn’t exactly what Catholics are known for…and yet, it’s what we are each called to do. The “New Evangelization” suggests that we should also find new ways and mechanisms (or mediums) by which to evangelize.  Catholic tradition leans toward the example of one’s life as the best way to evangelize. I agree, but I believe that humor, sports and the principle of sacramentality—finding God in all things—is an ideal and invitational way to do so. Sports need not be a separate from spirituality. Rather, one can compliment the other.  And humor is always a welcome thing. 

One person who has found a way to do that is Jeremy Lin, point guard for the Houston Rockets. A non-denominational Christian, Lin like many others knows and loves the Word of God first hand. It is front and center of his message—be it an interview about his life or a fun project he created with friends. His knowledge of Scripture is something he shared with the world. I have no doubt that knowledge guides his life, influences his decisions—both big and small and provides peaceful solace.

A friend shared "You've Changed Bro" with me because it's both hilarious and its end is surprising. As I read the final words on the screen, I thought that Jeremy Lin evangelizes in a way that the “New Evangelization” calls for.  He illustrates through story what Christ has called us to do and who He has called us to be.
Check it out for yourself. For those of you who know much if anything about his life, you'll have a great laugh. And for those who do not, you will still get the message...which isn't his message, but one from St. Paul. Let me know what you think….