Weekly Thought – December 17, 2013
Fred thought in categories. His gift of clear thinking was aided by his mental filing system. Long before computers, he had his own storage and retrieval process. He created major categories (philosophy, psychology, theology, for example) and when he read, or conversed, he mentally filed the information into one of his categories. When he needed to retrieve, he accessed the proper file. Many of Fred’s mentorees modeled this system.
One of Fred’s favorite quotes was, “Gratitude is the emotion with the longest shelf life.” We, at BWF, want you to know how truly grateful we are for you. The Weekly Thoughts give us an opportunity to share Fred’s words, and his heart. Thank you for your ongoing encouragement.
Models for Living
While our heroes teach us to be, our models help us to do. Models teach us to achieve the best use of our talents; models teach us how to link our passions to our activity.
Early on, I developed this purpose statement: “I have been given a talent; therefore, I am responsible for using it for the common good of my society and for the glory of God.” One of my first challenges was to determine my dominant talent.
Our philosophy of function is critical for a productive life. My personal belief is that service is the rent we pay for the space we occupy. And, the better the space, the higher the rent. We should never complain about the service expected of us. The Scripture reminds us, “To whom much has been given, much is required.” No one inherits rent-free life space.
Poachers on life’s territory eventually are dispossessed and exposed as frauds. We often hear, “There is no free lunch.” I firmly believe there is no free space. If you aren’t paying the rent, someone else is. It is our moral obligation to contribute.
Great accomplishers speak of their models…a teacher, a coach, a parent, an employer. Once in a private conversation with Billy Graham, I mentioned his graciousness which I had observed since his early twenties. “Whatever I have, I inherited from my father who was a truly gracious man.”
Heroes we idolize and models we emulate. Models differ from heroes as techniques differ from principles. Models personify desired traits and functions. It is helpful if models are accessible because we can query them and learn about their motivations. We read essays about our heroes; we read the day to day actions of our models.
The secret of modeling is building into our own lives the characteristics we most admire in another. We create the reality of the quality, not just dream about it. Epictetus said, “Imagine for yourself a character, a model personality whose example you determine to follow in private as well as in public.”
This week think carefully about: 1) Who are my models? 2) What characteristics do I strive to attain? 3) How do I identify models?
Words of Wisdom: “No one inherits rent-free space.”
Wisdom from the Word: “They are responsible for his needs and the needs of the whole community before the tent of meeting, by attending to the service of the tabernacle. (Numbers 3:7 NET Bible)