I heard all about the Hall of Fame inductions this weekend—the ones that people around here seem to really make a fuss over—as opposed to the one that makes so many leave town in July. It’s homecoming weekend at the high school, which means the annual induction into the CCS Sports Hall of Fame. Not being an alumnus myself, I wasn’t invited, but I expect it was quite a grand occasion. There was a nice dinner, plenty of backslapping all round, stories of the glory days. And when the names were announced and the plaques unveiled, of course, there were speeches.
And we all know what sorts of things were said. But how does a great athlete explain himself or herself? Who should be thanked for the accomplishments that are still remembered, so many years later? These questions aren’t as easy to answer as we sometimes assume. God, of course should be thanked—for the natural talent, protection from harm. But who else lies behind the success? An attentive coach, most likely, but was it really the one who designed the flashy plays for the varsity team, or the one back in Little League who taught you how to swing? Was it the teammate who sent all those sweet passes your way, or the one who shamed you into dropping the attitude and getting with the program? Was it Mom, cheering from the sidelines at every game, or great-granddad, whose smooth hands somehow became yours, even though he never saw you catch a ball?
Perhaps it was all of them, but that generalization doesn’t really make the question any easier to answer. There is a kind of mystery that lurks behind the good things in our lives. No one cause stands alone. No one person deserves all the credit, it’s all so interconnected.