Yesterday we celebrated the feast of St. Nicholas! He left a legacy of protecting the poor and giving gifts to children in need. The tradition associated with this feast is to leave out a shoe or stocking the night before this feast day with the hope of waking up to small gifts and treats. One of the most well-known stories of St. Nick is about his giving heart. Legend has it that on three separate occasions, St. Nick threw a bag of gold through a man’s window in order to assist him in providing a wedding gift for his three daughters whom were eligible to become married. The stories of St. Nicholas’ generosity traveled by word of mouth which eventually left him with the legacy of being known as Santa Claus.
The recent passing of George H.W. Bush serves as a powerful example of an admirable legacy. President Bush was a war hero who lived a full life of public service and will be known as one of the most athletic presidents to ever serve in the Oval Office. He believed that sports could bring people together and playing by the rules mattered. The president used sports such as golf, basketball, tennis, and horseshoe as a way to ease tensions in particular meetings.
In addition, he was a man devoted to his country, its people, and his family. He can be described as one of your stereotypical old school type of guys who showed tough love, kindness, and respect to all, which is not uncommon for males of his generation. Outside of his legacy of foreign policy and ending the Cold War, he leaves a legacy as a man of values, high character, sportsmanship, and an endless work ethic.
Just as President Bush was groomed and guided by mentors in his life, our student-athletes can be guided by Team Chaplains. It would be beneficial for Chaplains to find ways to prompt our student-athletes to consider these questions: How do you want to be remembered? What will be my legacy? What should I be doing from this day forward that will contribute to that legacy?
As today is Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, let us pray for the soul of 41st President George H.W. Bush and the souls of all those whom lost their lives during Pearl Harbor and World War II.