While hardly into adolescence I read Hemingway’s Farewell to Arms. In chapter 15 of this great book, he has Dr. Valenti state to the main character, Henry, who is seriously injured, and three Casper Milquetoast doctors, consulting among themselves concluding nothing can be done for him for at least six months. “I will do the surgery in the morning, I have noticed that doctors who fail in the practice of medicine have a tendency to seek one another's company and aid in consultation.”
Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms.
I don’t recall learning much at my tender age at the time, but I do remember making a note to find advice from people who had succeeded in doing what they do. One of my favorite people during the time I read Farewell to Arms, was my football coach, Mr. Mel Masonheimer. He was the kind of man that put fire in our bellies when he spoke to our team. Lombardi seems sissified by comparison. He was an outstanding man off the field who became near legendary as an educator over the years.
Coach, as we called him, with an attitude of awe, really wanted us to learn the how to of football correctly. When we played on Friday nights instead of Saturday, he would take the team to the home games of the University of Delaware. We would sit in the end zone to see the holes opening and the correct blocking and tackling technique of the college team. I can still hear Coach saying, “Don’t pay any attention to your friends who aren’t on the team but think they know something about football.”
His forceful advice has helped me more than I can say. My life, as is many, is marked with as many or more failures as successes. But, when I am wallowing in some failure, I don’t go to others wallowing, blaming and inventing excuses. I do what Coach and Dr. Valenti taught me. I find someone who has been knocked down and ask them; “How did you get up?”
To this day I think of Coach when I read this from Paul:
2Corinthians 2:14, “Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.” (NKJV).
Copyright © 2017 Larry Lilly
Strong IT work! Oral Deckard