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Omaha, Nebraska, United States
I am more and more convinced that most congregations die from a staggering lack of imagination. Let's change that. Let's imagine a creative future with God and each other together. Drop me a line on email or leave a comment if you have thoughts on God, Jesus, congregations, the church or whatever.... I look forward to our conversations.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Brady Quinn, Chiefs' Quarterback, and paying attention

“The one thing people can hopefully try to take away, I guess, is the relationships they have with people,” Quinn told reporters after the game.  “I know when it happened, I was sitting and, in my head, thinking what I could have done differently.  When you ask someone how they are doing, do you really mean it?  When you answer someone back how you are doing, are you really telling the truth?
“We live in a society of social networks, with Twitter pages and Facebook, and that’s fine, but we have contact with our work associates, our family, our friends, and it seems like half the time we are more preoccupied with our phone and other things going on instead of the actual relationships that we have right in front of us.  Hopefully, people can learn from this and try to actually help if someone is battling something deeper on the inside than what they are revealing on a day-to-day basis.” Brady Quinn, qb of the Kansas City Chiefs, on the suicide of his teammate Jevon Belcher, who murdered his girlfriend.                                                  
Nicely said Mr. Quinn. Jevon Belcher, a professional football player, who drives a Bentley, kills his girlfriend who is also the mother of his child, and then goes and kills himself in front of his coach. And his quarterback (in the Chiefs's case, one of his quarterbacks) wonders if he actually had paid attention to his teammate. From the sounds of the quote above, the answer it would seem is No.

I wonder if life is about paying attention? Paying attention not only to the people we have face-to-face contact with, but also those friends we only connect with on-line. (You have to remember I am OLD. I have almost no friends online that I do not also know face-to-face. I understand there are a lot of folks who have friends they have ONLY met online. I am not one of those folks.) Regardless, we still have to pay attention. Whether it's a "like" on an Instagram photo, or a cup of coffee after a tough day at work, it's always about the relationships.

You have heard me say over the years that the best line ever written for TV--and I mean EVER-- comes from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In preparation for an upcoming battle, Buffy asks why does it always have to be so bloody. Her frenemy Spike, a vampire with a soul, answers "It's always about the blood." Not even Jesus uttered words more profound.

Blood stands for everything: life, relationships, love, power, all the stuff that keeps us going. Blood is what keeps us all together. It's always about the blood.

Unfortunately, for Brady Quinn and the Kansas City Chiefs, and all of us in some way, we had a stark reminder of just how bloody the world is. Paying more attention to the people in our lives may never stop the tragedies, but it is something we all might wish to do in the midst of a world where tragedy is just a parking lot away. Who do you wish to pay a little more attention to these days?

May your tables be full, and your conversations be true.

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