Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
“When I was a child, I could see the wind in the trees,
And I heard a song in the breeze,
It was there, singing out my name.”
(“Who I Was Born to Be”—Susan Boyle)
It was what I told my son when he called one day in May a few years ago to share with me that he believed God had laid on his heart for him to write—and in particular as he began—a book with his friend, Tony Dungy. As I listened, I fought back my first and more practical response—because I knew that Nathan had already figured out what he would need to do to take care of his family while following this call on his life.
Instead, I told Nathan what I have had the chance to tell countless others—young and old, male and female—through the years:
“Minimize the moments in life where you will look back and say…
‘I wish I had done that.’”
With the blessing and support of his bride and daughters, he stepped out onto the path he felt God was calling him to, and the journey has led to the writing of five books and more in the planning stages. By the way, that original book “Quiet Strength” became the all-time best-selling sports autobiography.
Somebody must have told Susan Boyle the same thing—her Mother, I suspect—which finally led her to stand, rather plain and unassuming in appearance, on the stage of Britain’s Got Talent on January 21, 2009 and announce to a mildly mocking audience and three less-than-impressed judges, that she wanted to be a singer like England’s great Elaine Paige. And then Susan Boyle sang, and her notoriety and career took wing and shortly thereafter she released her first album which sold 4½ million copies in two weeks.
“And though I may not know the answers,
I can finally say I am free,
And if the questions led me here,
Then I am who I was born to be.”
And in the process of being who he was born to be, the books which Nathan has co-authored have blessed the lives of millions. In the process of following her dream, which others initially mocked, Susan Boyle has blessed millions with her voice. They both have inspired others to step out to do the same.
No doubt the temptation to get caught up in the secular things of “success” is tempting and ever-present for them, like best-seller lists, album sales, and rubbing elbows with celebrities as “new friends,” and other similar enticing “things” of the world. Those things seem to provide a narcotic sense of “self-worth”—but I think they both realize it isn’t real or lasting. Good friends and caring family will remind them of that. Instead, all of those secular things are transient, and when viewed for those purposes alone—are empty, meaningless and unfulfilling.
In their better and best moments—Nathan and his bride understand the bigger and best picture God is trying to paint with Nathan’s talents and her support. I suspect Susan Boyle has the same perspective.
And it was what caused me to start Impact for Living a few years ago—through a dream laid upon my heart late one night. It was a dream to inspire and allow God to transform people and recognize that God has created them in this one-time-around-world to have an impact that no one else can have but them—an eternal impact.
It is a dream, now turned into reality, through God’s grace, guidance and the belief and support of so many others. A reality that is helping people—and with the current national ministry emphasis on men—to understand that the bigger picture of our lives is painted by the God who has created each one of us uniquely to leave a legacy that only we can leave, day-by-day. To embrace a journey of incredible impact that changes not only our own life but the lives of others around us, and in the process forever expands His Kingdom.
“And so here am I, open arms and ready to stand,
I’ve got the world in my hands,
And it feels like my turn to fly.”
So, what is it that God has laid on your heart and is calling you to do? Sing? Write? Start a ministry? Mentor a child? Be a better husband or wife? Spend more time with your children? Be a friend to someone who has none?
When you draw your last breath—who will be at your side? What will the lasting impact of your life be? What eternal and Godly imprint on the lives of others will you have left on them? What will you have used the resources of your life for—your time, talent and treasures? What legacy will you have left behind? What will be the words others will speak about you while eulogizing the memory of your life?
When you draw that last breath—how long will the list be of those things that you wish you had done?
Just something for us all to think about today and for the rest of our lives.
In His Name—Scott
P.s. Remember (for Gainesville area folks) “The Mentor Leader” book signing with Coach/Author Tony Dungy and Co-author Nathan Whitaker—Tuesday, August 10, 2010, 7—9 PM, Books-a-Million on Newberry Road, Gainesville, FL (near Stein Mart and Oaks Mall).