Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Seeking, Serenity and a Super Bowl Ring: Lessons from AirPods, Jason Kelce and More

After three months, I found what I had been missing: my AirPods. I stopped looking for them about two weeks after I realized they were gone. I went through every last jacket, vest, sweatshirt and pair of pants I own. I reviewed the suspecting and unsuspecting places, but that small white jewel case was no where to be found. Given then I had already lost a) one charging case and b) a complete set, I decided as much as I wanted another pair, a third purchase was not meant to be. I figured if Aaron Rodgers was cool enough to wear the wired headset, so could I. Yes, the actual AirPods are much better, but I committed to move on and let it go. I did.

That is, until last Saturday when I found what went missing. I was dusting under a chair in my room and much to my chagrin, my eyes caught sight of my AirPods. They were alive and kicking. At that moment, my sister called and I told her what I recovered. "I love that feeling!" she said. I replied, "that which was lost has been found." No, this is not the story of the prodigal son but much like it, I think there is a valuable lesson in here, too. 

In the Matthew 7:7-9, Christ the Teacher imparts the following advice when it comes to prayer. Jesus says, 

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

I will speak for myself, I have repeated those words over and over in my life—personally, prayerfully, professionally. I have made a great career of seeking—but not always finding. And still, I pray. I pray to St. Anthony; I bargain with him. I pray for wisdom. I pray for patience— especially with myself. 

In Kelce, Amazon's popular documentary featuring the elder Kelce brother, Jason—I found a kindred spirit. I realized the Eagles center and I have something in common—he shares my plight of losing and looking.  Fast forward to the 10 minute mark, and you will see Jason looking for his Super Bowl LII ring.

He says, "If I were a Super Bowl ring, where would I be?  This is how I usually look. I start moving stuff....That didn't work right there."

His wife Kylie, looks as though she has seen this search more than once. She said, "He reads the defense very very well and calls protections very effectively. He'll go out there and see everything on a football field, but he cannot find his keys if they're in his pockets."

Jason takes the camera person into another room. He says, "
This is what it's supposed to be in. This is the box they give you so you're not doing this. It has the confetti from the game, but not the ring." He adds, "I did take it golfing...I think." 

Kylie asks, "
You checked your golf bag?"

The viewer is not privy to when, if or how Jason finds his ring. To me however, this scene embodies a lesson my spiritual director offered me long ago.

Turns out New Heights, Kelce's podcast reveals where/how Jason found his ring.

She asked me to call to mind:  What I do see. What do I notice? What is important that I pay attention to? How does that line of sight or vision help me do what matters to me—teach, love others, care for my friends, write well, etc.?

Then, she asked me what it would me to accept my limitations and shortcomings—my humanity. She said, "maybe it's okay for some things to be lost." She was both encouraging me to let things go, but she also suggested that I let things come to me. 
I see the story of my AirPods as a metaphor for that way of proceeding.

Life seems to be a very tender balance of seeking ...of finding and letting ourselves be found. We must ask ourselves, What can we let go of? What can we find? What can we replace? In what way can we replace it? I don't have the answer to these questions, because they are for each one of us to determine and to bring to prayer.

I shared this story entire story with my students. Several of them told me they had lost three, even five sets of AirPods. I showed that clip of Kelce to the mom's group at school. They  howled in laughter at Jason (the husband) seeking and not finding and Kylie (the wife) looking from afar. It struck very close to home. Therefore, let us remember to pray the words Matthew's Gospel and add our own....maybe the Serenity Prayer is a good place to start.

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