Sunday, December 4, 2011

This week's Pep Talk: "Riches Money Can't Buy"

It was a snowy Saturday in the Mile High City. The much-needed white stuff had been falling since overnight. My unofficial measuring stick, the backyard patio table, seemed to suggest about eight inches or more - needed moisture for which we give thanks. It was noon time. The news of the day was Herman Cain suspending his presidential campaign.

While that unfolded on the television in the background, I’m parked at the counter separating kitchen from family room. The cat snored on a chair nearby. I’m reading correspondence on Facebook after encouraging others there to “think about their neighbors who might need some help with shoveling.” The return musings of wonderful Centennial State residents doing good works warms my heart on a chilly day. The stories are powerful, at least for me, examples of what the world’s best-selling book suggests we do for one another. In Galatians we’re encouraged to “never grow weary of doing good, for at the proper time, we’ll reap the harvest if we just don’t give up.”

I have always loved that verse. The real challenge is living it. There are times in life when you wonder, “Okay, when am I gonna reap the harvest if I just don’t give up?” It makes me wonder about historical figures: Christopher Columbus, Abe Lincoln, Booker T. Washington, Betty Friedman, Henry David Thoreau, Jane Addams and many others from a list of the 100 most influential Americans I found on the Internet. Before these folks, and other honorable American-history influencers, did something very cool to make the record books, surely they must have had moments when they wanted to shout, “This sucks, I give up!”

But somehow they persevered and continued to never grow weary of doing good. That good might have been abolishing slavery, stressing education for the uneducated, fighting for women’s rights - whatever. The bottom line is, for some reason, there was a spirit inside these pioneers of progress encouraging them to continue, despite the adversity, the quest for mission success.

What inspires such resolve, defined as “great determination?” What separates those who keep faith in their vision, persevere and ultimately, achieve their goal? What is it that allows some to stay rooted in courage and wonderment and not become mired in the muck of fear and self doubt? That is a tricky question, that, for a simple dude from Missouri comes down to faith - home, work or elsewhere.

Let me give you an example. I know a guy who seven years ago began a journey, through writing, speaking and consulting, to encourage others to play like champions in the game of life and exalt those who demonstrate those abilities. The father of two beautiful and maturing kids has invested most of his life savings in the endeavor. The fitness fanatic feels truly called, considering his life experiences, unique talents and personality, to exalt and encourage others to live their lives in ways that honor, nurture and add value to the communities we serve.

I know him pretty well and know, financially, times are tough. The southpaw likes to joke, “I’m broke but consider myself richly blessed.” He’s fighting to remain rooted in courage and wonderment. By the way, that guy would be me.

Without question, in addition to your humble correspondent, you probably know others who might need an encouraging word right now to continue chasing their dreams. Maybe it’s one of your kids; an aging parent; neighbor; friend or a complete stranger.

Let’s never grow weary of doing good for each other, okay? I believe it will help us “reap the harvest if we just don’t give up.” Thanks for your time, I’m gonna go shovel my elderly neighbor’s sidewalk. Will it help my business achieve success down the road? I have no idea. However, this much I do know. It makes me feel good and provides riches money can’t buy.

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