Gotta Get Them All

Recently, I had the privilege of going to an energetic Pokémon Trainer party where celebrities were in attendance.

The mood was giddy at times and conversations, animated. Although some guests were jumpy.

Decorations appropriate for the occasion festooned the room: balloons with watching eyes and streamers, among them. Marilyn Monroe was unable to attend and sing, so we all chimed in as our musical talents allowed. A small child, Toby, the guest of honor, beamed above a candle-lit Pokémon cake.

Guests seated themselves at long tables. Superman shoveled cake into his mouth with superhuman relish.  Cinderella toyed with dainty bites of cake, more intent, it seemed, to talk quickly with other guests, great and small, than to actually consume calories.

A representative from Star Wars sat in quiet dignity beside other comic characters. And a number of guests in plainclothes munched quietly.

But even casual observers could discern this was no ordinary birthday gathering. Serious business hung in the balance, even if some in attendance seemed only interested in playing games. Event organizers had prepared educational obstacle courses, disguised as party games, so aspiring Pokémon Trainers could master Courage, Integrity and other essential skills that would be needed for future challenges and conflicts.

As the diverse group scrambled for positions and advantages and the candy spilling from a piñata, fortunately, only one nose was temporarily bent out of shape. Diplomatic negotiators quickly achieved a return to peaceful relations among the guests after an apology was sincerely given and quickly accepted, with a minimum of pouting and name calling.

Finally, drivers arrived and guests dispersed, each carrying Pokémon cards and treasured candy scored from the scramble to get them all. Signs of mastery of courage, integrity and other equally important life skills achieved that day would yet to be revealed in each Pokémon Trainer who had attended the event.


Lord, give us courage and integrity for the business of mingling together on this planet. Teach us to accept each other's differences, play fair, be quick to apologize, quick to forgive, so we can grasp the greater prizes you have prepared for us than just those at our feet.

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