INTRODUCTION TO START PRACTICE/GAME
Our virtue this week is APPRECIATION – The strength to recognize and enjoy someone’s good qualities or actions. An APPRECIATIVE team is tough to beat! They are dedicated to recognizing each other’s strengths and specific roles and actively communicate those to teammates. Everybody carries themselves differently when they APPRECIATE others and are APPRECIATED as well and that makes a big difference.
Lord, we should APPRECIATE You more! There is nothing more You could have done to prove that You love us. You suffered and died so that I could be with You in Heaven for all eternity. Give me the love and wisdom to recognize and APPRECIATE this fact and love you more. Does anyone have any prayer intentions? Who wants to lead us in a prayer?
STORY TO TELL IMMEDIATELY AFTER PRAYER
COMING TO MY SENSES
by Sarah Ban Breathnach
While eating at a restaurant in the mid- 1980’s, the sky suddenly fell, and it landed on my head by way of a large ceiling panel, knocking me to the table. I didn’t lose consciousness, but I sustained a head injury that left me bedridden, confused, and disoriented for months and partially disabled for a year and a half. During the first few months of recuperation, my senses were all skewed. My eyesight was blurry and I was very sensitive to light, even seeing the different patterns on my bed quilt jarred my equilibrium.
I couldn’t listen to music because it made me dizzy. I couldn’t carry on phone conversations because processing the sounds and rearranging them into meaningful patterns in my brain was impossible. And I couldn’t taste my food or smell the luscious fragrance of my little girl’s hair after it was washed. Other senses that I had taken for granted my entire life became strangers, and I sorely missed them. Like a cat who’s had her whiskers trimmed, I lost my sense of balance as well as my perception of depth and distance. Just the thought of getting out of bed to fix a cup of tea was bruising because I knew I would stumble and fall.
During my sense-less period, I went through a bitter “Why me, why this, why now?” litany. My downtime was a perfect opportunity for heaven to get my complete attention. Chief among my discoveries was this: Divinity is to be found where and when you least expect it. Moses found his God in a burning bush. And I found mine in a pot of homemade spaghetti sauce. Months after my accident, the spaghetti sauce was the first thing I was able to smell distinctly.
As the aroma of a friend’s kind gift wafted up to my bedroom, I could scarcely believe my nose! Euphoric, I followed the strange but familiar fragrance of garlic, onions, tomatoes, peppers and oregano down the stairs and into the kitchen. I was practically beside myself with delight. I had discovered the miracle of the sacred in the ordinary; from that moment my life would forever be changed. Taking a spoon, I dipped it into the sauce and brought it to my lips. I wasn’t able to taste the sauce yet, just distinguish temperature and texture. It didn’t matter. I was so grateful to inhale the glorious scent of ordinary life that I was off and running.
For the next few happy weeks I rediscovered life with a new sense of wonder. Taste came next, followed by hearing, sight, and touch. Each sensory restoration was accompanied by a feeling of rapture and even sudden tears. Biting into a ripe, juicy peach. Listening to music. Seeing bright sunlight stream through a window. Being able to wear my favorite sweater.
I was astonished and ashamed at my appalling lack of appreciation for what had been right under my nose. Cliche or not, we just don’t know how blessed we are until misfortune strikes. No more. I swore I would never, ever forget………and I haven’t.
QUESTION TO ENGAGE PLAYERS
What/Who are some blessings in your life that you, maybe, forget to appreciate, sometimes? What could you do to help you appreciate them more?
RESOLUTION TO WORK ON DURING PRACTICE/GAME
Take the time today in practice to show appreciation to a teammate. Tell them thanks, tell them that they matter to you, tell them you are a better person because of them.
Ask individually as many players as you can during practice/game that below:
Take the time today in practice to show appreciation to one or more players on the team. Tell them thanks for their commitment to the team, tell them they matter to you, tell them they make you a better coach.
END OF PRACTICE/GAME PRAYER
Lord, help us to appreciate You more. Nothing in this world is as important as You and Your love for us. You know all things and You can do all things. Nothing is impossible for You. You are our Captain and our best Teammate. Help us to grow in APPRECIATION in You this week by reelecting on all the blessings we have received in life.
WAY TO LIVE THE VIRTUE THIS WEEK
Grow in APPRECIATION this week by telling people how thankful you are for their time, their love or for whatever materials comforts they have given you.
Remind players to tell their parents and siblings the story.
APPRECIATION QUOTES FOR THE WEEK
*Each day this week communicate the quote of the day.
“The world’s most unsatisfied hunger is the hunger for appreciation.” – Anonymous
“I wept because I had no shoes, until I saw a man who had no feet.” – Ancient Persian Saying
“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” – William Arthur Ward
“Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” – Voltaire
“The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.”-Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Don’t forget, a person’s greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated.” – Jackson Brown
“Oh, how happy is the soul that freely lets herself be molded to the likeness of this divine Savior!” – Saint Jane Frances de Chantal