The Mountain Is Not Hiding The Finish Line

October 1, 2020

 

By Reverend Paul N. Papas II

September 29, 2020

 

 

 

It may be tough to lift a mountain and move it out of the way unless you move one stone at a time. Why not just go over, around, or through it.

Anyone who would take the burdens of the world on their own shoulders by themselves, after watching the world is falling apart news, is setting themselves up to make drug companies and psychiatrists  rich.

No runners have ever won the race without crossing the finish line before others. Years ago Rosie Ruiz was stripped of two Marathon Crowns, Boston and New York, because she spent most her ‘winning’ times on the subway.

“Her friend Steve Marek told the Boston Globe that Ruiz had admitted her ruse to him, but that she didn’t intend to be the first woman to cross the finish line”, according to the Post.

“She jumped out of the crowd, not knowing that the first woman hadn’t gone by yet,” Marek said. “Believe me, she was as shocked as anyone when she came in first. But at that point they had put the crown on her, gave her the medal and told her she’s the winner. How could she say, ‘No, I’m not’?”

Ruiz joined race in final half mile.

She jumped into the final stretch of the race to finish ahead of Jacqueline Gareau, who set a course record of 2:34:28 that would not be recognized until days later when Ruiz was disqualified.

Ruiz drew suspicion when she seemed clueless about common marathon jargon in a post-race interview with race commentator Kathrine Switzer.

 

“Have you been doing a lot of heavy intervals?,” Switzer asked Ruiz about a marathon training technique.

“Someone else asked me that,” Ruiz responded. “I’m not sure what intervals are. What are they?”

 

Other runners said that they hadn’t seen her on the course, and her bib number was not recorded at numerous race checkpoints.

A pair of Harvard students later confirmed that they saw Ruiz join the race in its final stage.” (1)

You can win by cheating.

Everything done in secret will be laid bare.

Going underground, sneaking about to gain an edge may grant some momentary advantage but will end badly.

Emerging from the subway or basement for the last half mile does not give you, other participants, or interested parties a clear view of you or the true situation.

Rosie Ruiz’ cheating caused her to change her last name and legal problems. She eventually lost her ten year battle with cancer at 66. For forty years she carried the burdens of her world wide renowned cheating.

When you face the mountain and go over, under, or through the mountain you can be inspired by those cheering you on. That inspiration can assist you in your endeavor. Ask any real athlete how the roar of the crowds made a difference to encourage them to make that extra effort and capture the win.

Go for the fair, clean win, with honor and integrity, something your mother would be proud of.

 

Reverend Paul N. Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (MA and AZ) and Founder of the Family Renewal Center (AZ) www.narrowpathministries.org and www.familyrenewalcenteraz.org

 

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(1) https://uk.movies.yahoo.com/infamous-boston-marathon-cheat-rosie-ruiz-dies-at-66-234559903.html



Thanksgiving Chipmunk

October 31, 2019

By Reverend Paul N. Papas II

October 29, 2019

 

 

Most people think of Thanksgiving as Turkey Day, a time to overeat then park in front of the television.

“Giving thanks for the Creator’s gifts had always been a part of Wampanoag daily life. From ancient times, Native People of North America have held ceremonies to give thanks for successful harvests, for the hope of a good growing season in the early spring, and for other good fortune such as the birth of a child. Giving thanks was, and still is, the primary reason for ceremonies or celebrations.

As with Native traditions in America, celebrations – complete with merrymaking and feasting – in England and throughout Europe after a successful crop are as ancient as the harvest-time itself. In 1621, when their labors were rewarded with a bountiful harvest after a year of sickness and scarcity, the Pilgrims gave thanks to God and celebrated His bounty in the Harvest Home tradition with feasting and sport (recreation). To these people of strong Christian faith, this was not merely a revel; it was also a joyous outpouring of gratitude.” (1)

Depending upon your outlook you either see reasons to rejoice and be glad or search for reasons to complain. Life can be a half full or half empty glass or perhaps a glass overflowing.

Recently after surgery, in recovery, the whole surgical team was around my bed. I thought someone called a vote, they had not. I did say the Chipmunk was off my back. My doctor said, “The monkey was off [my] back.” I repeated it and we all laughed. Needless to say the patient pulled through.

Some months ago a doctor noticed a grapefruit growing on my back. A Sonogram, CT scan, MRI confirmed the Chipmunk had to go. One of the scans looked like a Chipmunk, with an arm and eye…the name stuck. Fortunately the Chipmunk was a benign lipoma. There was no way to be sure until the scalpel was applied.

As you can image the time from discovery to removal were full of questions.  Had I been the half empty type I probably could have worried myself into a fetal position. Instead everyday there was a reason to rejoice and be glad.

“Early in 1621, the Pilgrims had built crude huts and a common house on the shores of Plymouth Bay. Then soon thereafter neighboring Indians began to build relations with the Pilgrims. SQUANTO, a local Indian who had been kidnapped and taken to England nearly a decade before, served as an interpreter with the local tribes. Squanto taught the Pilgrims to fertilize the soil with dried fish remains to produce a stellar corn crop.

MASSASOIT, the chief of the nearby Wampanoags, signed a treaty of alliance with the Pilgrims in the summer. In exchange for assistance with defense against the feared Narragansett tribe, Massasoit supplemented the food supply of the Pilgrims for the first few years.” (2)

From the beginning people helped people to make this country great and they rejoiced and celebrated accomplishments together.

It took a surgical team made up people with different talents to remove the Chipmunk.  Had we called a vote I would have voted the team to be Number One.

The Chipmunk became a reason to rejoice and be glad, a Thanksgiving Chipmunk.  Throw off that monkey and rejoice and be glad.

Have a Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving.

 

Reverend Paul N. Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (MA and AZ) and Founder of the Family Renewal Center (AZ) www.narrowpathministries.org and www.familyrenewalcenteraz.org

 

(1) https://www.plimoth.org/learn/just-kids/homework-help/thanksgiving/thanksgiving-history

 

(2) http://www.ushistory.org/us/3b.asp


Can We Still Celebrate With Thanksgiving?

November 3, 2017

By Reverend Paul N. Papas II

October 31, 2017

We are heading into the holiday season with the busiest travel day of the year, Thanksgiving. Certainly we are a long way from the original time and spirit of the first great feast enjoyed by the Pilgrims and Indians who were native to the land.

The Indians helped the Pilgrims survive and get through the tough first few years. They worked together and learned from each other. The Pilgrims would have starved if the Indians had not taught the Pilgrims how to plant, fish, and hunt in the new land.

Once the first bountiful harvest was completed a celebration of thanksgiving began. Two different cultures had worked through some tough days and were rejoicing together.

True, the Pilgrims and Indians dressed differently however they were similar in that they had family as a base unit.  They were also similar in their worship. Pilgrims worshiped our Creator God and the Indians worshiped the Great Spirit. There are several parallels with what the Pilgrims and Indians worship. It is not a great leap for Indians to become Christians.

In later years the Indians did not fare as well in the land they once dominated. Had the same spirit of cooperation that existed at the first Thanksgiving been maintained many tragedies would have been averted.  That is our history for good, bad, or indifferent.

Everybody has a history. No matter how much you fret about your history you can not change it. Those who dwell in the past risk losing sight of the future and miss its Blessings.  Living in the regrets can be awful depressing.

Part of healing from depression, anxiety and PTSD is getting past yesterday. It would be helpful to get up out of the chair, walk over to the door, turn the knob and open the door, cross the threshold, walk out of yesterday, close the door on yesterday and step into the future.  Now you can celebrate freedom from the past with thanksgiving.

There are many reasons to celebrate with thanksgiving; the birth of child, a new job, a new home or even just another day above the grass.

Perhaps taking a fresh look at your circumstances could give you reasons to celebrate with thanksgiving.

Perhaps volunteering to serve at a Thanksgiving Dinner hosted by one of many organizations could give you reasons to celebrate with thanksgiving.

Helping someone helps change your focus and can give you reasons to celebrate with thanksgiving.

One person at a time we can get back to the spirit of the first Thanksgiving and I’d be happy to meet you there…What are you waiting for?

Reverend Paul N. Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (MA and AZ) and Founder of the Family Renewal Center (AZ)  www.narrowpathministries.org and www.familyrenewalcenteraz.org


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The Tale Of Two Meals

December 4, 2015

thanksgiving
By Reverend Paul N. Papas II
December 1, 2015

Same table, different times, and multiple conversations were giving thanks? Each culture and each generation has their own style of communicating with each other, other generations and other cultures.

The table has been stretched with its leaves to seat the maximum number of family members and some guests. The spare chairs touched each other around the table. Four generations came together this day from near and far to share, give thanks and overeat.

Looking around the table there are the grandparents who heard first hand accounts of the Great Depression from their parents. The youngest will be starting school in the fall. The two generations in between grew up in markedly different times. One grew up when radio was king and TV was in its infancy, the other with 24/7 TV and a variety of TV stations.

If the older two generations have a Smartphone issue they just hand it to one of the younger two generations for a few moments and there you go, all fixed.

The older two generations have the same concerns about and for their children and grandchildren as their parents and grandparents had for them about them and their future. What would the world look like and how would they do.

I don’t think George Washington’s parents had a clue that little George would lead an Army in a Revolution never mind be a new country’s First President.

Oftentimes parents dream that their toddler would become president, partly because we live in a country where it is possible for any American child to become president.

I remember when the fax machine first came out; it only took about 45 minutes for one page to be transmitted to another fax machine at the other end of the phone line.

At the table there are various dings and other sounds produced by a text or email that just arrived. No one shut off their phones at the Thanksgiving meal, maybe they will remember for the Christmas meal.

The picture of this group did not look like a Norman Rockwell painting it looked more like a selection of people from any day at the mall. It was a relaxed atmosphere with mixture of colors and clothing styles. The one with the body piercing reminded the older generation of how some dressed to be different in the 60s, same message of independence just a different time.

Political views vary as much as they do across the country. Sometimes the older generations wondered what they did wrong to sire such diverse views. Needless to say some discussions were lively. None the less this was a time to give thanks and show their gratitude for what they have and for each other.

The Thanksgiving meal was a little early by some standards but some had to the make the visiting schedule at hospital locked ward, others at the prison. No one in the family was to be forgotten or left alone on this day just because they fell on hard times.

For some it has been days or months since they visited other family and guests around the table so there is plenty of crosstalk. As good hosts the guests are included in various conversations. For some guests this is their introduction to the family.

The turkey carver has just been presented the tools of his trade and all eyes shift to the bird. It is now quiet enough to hear a few stomachs make there readiness to be filled known.

Before eating all join hands to offer up the bounty as a Blessing and give a prayer of gratitude, thanksgiving and praise.

Ding, at least the text waited until after the Amen.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Reverend Paul N. Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (MA and AZ) and Founder of the Family Renewal Center (AZ) http://www.narrowpathministries.org and http://www.familyrenewalcenteraz.org

The First Thanksgiving Story

Plimoth Plantation Tour


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