It was a simple two line SMS from one friend to another. We do not see each other much anymore. For years we worked together. Our paths have gone in different directions for some time. When we get together, like most men it is all about doing. Yet the SMS spoke from one heart to another reminding me to take care of myself.
As I reflect on the years we have known each other, I am struck by ways life has touched our lives. When I begin to explore the details, the candid response within is that “there’s no end to what has happened in you—it’s beyond speech, beyond knowledge.” (1 Corinthians 1.5) From what I can see, several events could have destroyed our lives. Personal tragedies, relationships, corporate dysfunctions are just the beginning. The quantity is overwhelming. Yet, in both lives there is a calm that prevails. It is greater than any other point in our lives.
As I look at his life, I see three characteristics that I would do well to remember.
Learning from life is a 24×7 process. Never stop! Be aware. Take time to reflect. Open your mind to the impossible because it is likely already possible in the present.
Take long hard looks in the mirror. Being self-aware is difficult. It cripples some. However, the more we know about ourselves the greater our opportunity to do something about it.
Live with others in mind. They can help. They will influence. They will touch us in good ways and bad. Ignoring the other is never the answer. Engage in relationships. Even a guarded engaged relationship, is better than no relationship at all. Keep the conversation going.
Today we go in different directions. I have been touched by his compassion. It reminds me of the calling you and I have today. We can touch those we meet. We can strive to make a positive difference to our community. In the simple unguarded quiet moments of life we will tell the story of our heart. Another’s story is now part of mine.