Last Friday, flush from the Puncher victory at Cowboy Stadium, the town of Mason returned to real life. The students had finals to take. The adults had businesses to run. It was tough to focus on the many tasks at hand as people replayed the high points of the game over and over again. But, little by little, our heads dropped back below the clouds and we began attending to life.One of my callers on Friday morning noted that this week's paper should be "easy enough," as all I had to do was put in some football photos. I reminded them that I also had a Christmas edition with all the Santa letters, ministers' messages and greetings from local businesses. The teachers and ministers, most of whom had been part of the Puncher victory in Arlington, scrambled to get in the Santa letters and Christmas homilies (and most of them got them in on time).With almost a week since the game, just about everything that could be written about the matchup, about our players, about our coaches and about our town had already been written, discussed and photographed. Newspapers, radio stations and television crews all commented about our "interesting" assortment of players - the short ones, the heavy ones, the one-armed ones.... all the commentators were amazed that we could put together what, from all appearances, was the most ragtag group of boys in the state and turn them into the winningest team Mason has ever had.But, we know why it worked. Those of us in Mason understand that we are all saddled with failings and shortcomings. We know that we lack many of the things that others might consider necessary to be successful, to be happy, to be resilient. However, we know something that most of them will never understand.We know that not being "ideal" makes us work harder to succeed. We understand that it is because of our shortcomings that we have succeeded in so many other ways.Perhaps it is appropriate that this contradiction has been brought to the national stage at this special time of year. For weeks, I've been explaining to the high school students in the Sunday school class I teach that the Christmas story is all about unexceptional people. People just like us.A 14 year old girl, pregnant by the Holy Spirit and engaged to be married. Her fiance, a carpenter, who (though of regal lineage) is a simple man who never utters a single word in any Biblical story, and who must understand the unique situation he is in regarding the birth of the Messiah. A tiny little town, poor by all measurements, crowded with pilgrims returning for a tax census. Unexceptional people, in an unexceptional place. But, oh what results were achieved!Christmas is all about miracles. It's about simple people achieving great things. It's about having faith when everything tells us to let go. It's about the ability of people to believe in themselves and in their God, and to accept His guidance and comfort.To the Punchers, I say "Thank You" for a wonderful Christmas gift. You have given us memories and bragging rights that will last forever. To all the fans and supporters, I say "Way to go," for always being there when the pundits said we didn't have a chance. And, for the entire community, I say "God bless you all," for the love and support you give. Not just to the kids on the playing field; but, also the kids in the classroom and in the homes. This is a community of support and encouragement. Joseph and Mary could only have prayed to have stumbled into a town as welcoming and supportive when they made their arduous journey into Bethlehem. Our families and friends surround us, providing us with the support we need, no matter how difficult.Merry Christmas to the Mason Punchers. Merry Christmas to all the students, the teachers, the coaches, the supporters and the fans. Merry Christmas to the people that support not just the kids, but the adults in our community. And, merry Christmas to all of you who support us. Your love and guidance makes our lives possible and it makes them livable.Have a safe and joyous season.
It’s all just my opinion.