Monday, May 25, 2015

Pep Talk: "Eye on the Prize!"

Mother Nature’s rumble of thunder and crack of lightning reminded this knucklehead, if anybody cares, to share what’s been banging around in this noggin’ for a bit.

The critical importance of having the guts to stand for our beliefs. Whatever they are. It might be taking a new job. Stopping a bad habit. Asking someone to marry you. Asking someone to forgive you. Disciplining our children. Whatever. You know what I mean. To sprint off the high dive at the pool and leap into the great unknown? It’s easy to talk about, far more difficult to execute. Simple. Far from easy.

I recently had three wonderful examples delivered within one day. Bam! Two came from sitting in a luncheon crowd supporting the building of additional affordable housing units. A good day for Denver. This growing city needs them.

Anyway, back to the point. One of the speakers told two stories that bored into my marrow about the truth of “going for it.” The belief in self or something beyond us.

Each was from long ago. The first, from the early years following Jesus’ death. Roman tax collectors had showed up for the rent check and told the gathered, “You have three days to collect your treasures.” The tax men were a bit surprised to discover what the folks collected. People. The engaging speaker took me and others in the crowd back 2,000 years concerning the response: “These - pointing to blind, sick, disabled and handicapped humans -  are our treasures’” That took some guts.

The second story focused on New York City during our nation’s Civil War. Blacks were being hunted. A church in Manhattan started an underground shelter. A mob caught wind and marched toward the church. The priest calmly walked into the street with just himself, a symbol of faith and fearlessness. The mob halted and eventually retreated.

The third example came from a buddy, Carl Medearis.  I bumped into him the morning after the powerful lunch. He’s invited all the time to speak internationally to Muslims and Jews about Jesus. Many years ago, the author/speaker moved family to the Middle East, came back to Denver suburbia for a bit and is now moving back to that tumultuous region of the world. He told a story about a time two hooded strangers dropped a box on his Beirut, Lebanon front stoop. No bomb but a threat. If husband and father spoke at a nearby mosque? The note stated, “We will kill you, your wife and kids.” He spoke and, obviously, lived. Today Medearis writes about this experience in his latest book, Adventures In Saying Yes.

Three powerful reminders within 24 hours. Often? Always? We gotta be fearless. Is danger lurking? No logical solution to what ails, home, work or elsewhere? Sure, danger lurks in life but also lurking is the possibility of great triumph. Cast fear aside and allow wonderment to win.

Whether inspired by faith or whatever floats your fearless boat, keep your eye on the prize!

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