Winter 2012 - Department | St. Alban’s Minute
St. Alban’s Minute
On a September 2011 morning in Minnesota, the Lakeville Apple Jack Cross Country Invitational took place. Junior varsity runner Josh Ripley of Andover High was into the first mile of the 3K race. “I had heard this scream, and as I rounded a corner, he came into view,” Josh said. What he saw was another runner, Mark Paulauskas, from Lakeville South High.
Mark had accidentally been spiked and sitting beside the course trail holding his ankle, writhing in pain. Other runners continued to pass the injured runner. “It was bleeding pretty badly,” Josh continued in the school district release. “I didn’t think about my race, I knew I needed to stop and help him. It was something I would expect my other teammates to do. I’m nothing special; I was just in the right place at the right time.”
Josh did stop, and he did the only thing he could think of. He picked up the injured Mark and carried him a half mile back to his coaches. And once he handed Mark off, who was taken by ambulance to the emergency room and equire 20 stitches to close the wound, Josh resumed the race last of all runners, yet finished 211 out of 261. At the finish line, Josh received cheers and accolades and Mark’s coaches meet Josh at the finish line to thank him for what he had done.
Josh Ripley is being called a hero. Comments that appeared on blogs were overwhelmingly positive, but some were critical of Josh for abandoning his obligation to his teammates and his school to do his best to win or place high enough in the competition to better their overall standing.
I think the critics missed the point entirely.
In the ‘Iolani community, faith is not just a noun that describes a state of belief. It is also a verb. Faith moves us. It shapes who we are, what we believe and the kind of person we become. Faith and caring for the soul are just as important as caring for the body and mind. The three are linked.
In the New Year we often make resolutions about our life and health and family. Maybe one of those resolutions can be about intentionally caring for the soul. Perhaps it will involve attending a community of worship, volunteering to serve at IHS or other organizations, donating blood, yoga, community service and the list goes on.
In the ‘Iolani community, faith is not just a noun that describes a state of belief. It is also a verb. Faith moves us. It shapes who we are, what we believe and the kind of person we become.Educating a student means more than the grades that appear on papers, tests, and report cards. Athletic prowess means more than trophies, medals, and banners hung on a wall. In life, we must not only take care of the body by eating healthily and exercising or care for the mind by reading, crosswords, etc.. We must also care for the soul. We must nurture those elements in the core of our being that help us to fully be what God calls us to. Ultimately this care for the soul is not self-serving. When we care for our soul, we can’t just do it for ourselves. When we focus on the inner spirit, the beneficiaries of this endeavor are others around us and all of God’s creation. In tending to those aspects of our lives that deal with our inner self, we allow God to shape and mold us further into God’s likeness and internalize the values of the kingdom. Values—that call us to recognize when someone is hurting and in pain—move us into action. Actions like those of Josh Ripley.
The Rev. Daniel L. Leatherman