Weekly Thought – August 16, 2022
Fred took his last breath at 9:15 on August 17, 2007. To some it may be a cliché, but in truth he “finished well.” He identified his giftedness, developed it, and used it to stretch others.
The Broader Way
A research study by the Menninger Clinic looking at common traits of mature men and women found that “they draw sustenance from many different sources.” They saw that those studied were not narrow people.
Service is one way of paying attention to broadening our lives. My friend lived “the high life.” He was an executive with a $300,000 income (in the ‘70s), a yacht, and jet. After embezzling six million dollars his life drastically changed. He traded his mansion for a federal prison. When he came out he had no friends, business, or family. He wandered the streets of his town, ending up in a half-way house. While speaking in his town a few weeks ago I saw a man across the auditorium. “Who is that man? He looks vaguely familiar.” I knew it couldn’t be my friend with that shining countenance, straight bearing, and purposeful expression. Nobody could change that much, I thought.
After the meeting I walked toward the man. We recognized each other and reached out to hug. “When are you going back to the big time?” My question seemed to be appropriate for this man of confidence and strength. “I’m not. Fred, I found my place working with ex-convicts and helping minority businesses become profitable.” He traded his life of selfishness for a life of service.
Recently, I talked to an over the road truck driver. He was excited about his life. He said, “I’m always looking around the next curve and over the next hill.” When I asked if he ever took his wife he responded, “Once.” “Why only once?” “All she likes to do is knit. We drove along passing beautiful views, and all she did was sit and knit, saying nothing, and seeing nothing. So I thought she might as well sit at home knitting. I could keep on driving, seeing and thoroughly enjoying everything I could. There is just so much mile after mile.”
He knew what it meant to broaden his life.
When we focus our attention, deepen and broaden it, we are simply becoming more alive – and well on the road to maturity.
This week think carefully about: 1) How open am I to new experiences? 2) When do I feel most alive? 3) What challenges and stretches me to grow toward maturity?
Words of Wisdom: “He traded his life of selfishness for a life of service.”
Wisdom from the Word: “I know your deeds: your love, faith, service, and steadfast endurance. In fact, your more recent deeds are greater than your earlier ones.” (Revelation 2:19 NET Bible)