A Full Day (12/23/16): An All-Time Jeopardy Contestant, Washington’s Farewell, True Peace on Earth

“If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day.” Jim Valvano

Today is December 23, 2016, the 358th day of the year. It is the fictional day of Festivus, made famous on an episode of Seinfeld.

On this day in 1783, George Washington resigned his commission as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army. Washington surrendered his commission to the Continental Congress, which had met at the Maryland State House in Annapolis.

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I couldn’t decide whether to put this here and laugh, or at the end and have a good cry. Monday morning, I’m driving out of Davidson, N.C. when I see a deer that had been hit and killed. The animal was laying across someone’s driveway. For someone, that was not a good way to start a week.



When we say we want “Peace on Earth” we forget that Jesus did not come to give us the peace that we seek. God has something greater in mind than a one-night silent night from which we revert to our regular lives the next day.

When God brings peace, often our normal order needs to be turned over like the tables of the money-changers, and the coins that we hold dear need to fall to the floor.



Cindy Stowell has become one of the more memorable Jeopardy! contestants to ever appear on the venerable game show. Stowell became a six-day champion on the show, winning over $100,000. What was not known by most during the taping of the show in late August and again in mid-September was that Stowell competed while suffering with Stage IV colon cancer.

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The native of Austin, Texas passed away on December 5, prior to the airing of her shows. All her winnings were donated to cancer research. Stowell found out she had cancer after being selected for the show and worked with the producers to appear on Jeopardy! as soon as possible.

As I read her story, I wondered if I found I was dying in a few months, what once-in-a-lifetime challenge would I set out to do? To direct a challenging, beloved piece such as Johannes Brahms’s Requiem? To interview a favorite baseball player? I don’t know, but it’s certainly a question worth pondering.

Thinking further, why is it that we wait until the winter of life to do those monumental things? For Stowell, she sought out a lifelong ambition and was fortunate to follow through with it despite her terrible circumstances. (And, oh the good she did with it!)

I think one of the things I’d like to pursue over the next year is to pursue is one of those “Life moments”. To seriously consider what do I want to do that means something to me and chase it.




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