I don’t mean to make myself sound like I am “all that and a bag of chips” as a friend used to say.  But God has touched my life in amazing ways, giving me some amazing experiences and giving me the power, wisdom, strength, and opportunity for many achievements. Moreover, there were many times that I stepped out boldly and dared to do things that others would not do.  Or I would persist in a path despite others trying to discourage me, telling me that I couldn’t do it or shouldn’t do it.  But I always knew in my gut that I had to be bold if I wanted my life to matter for something, if I wanted to really make a difference in this world.  So, I never listened to those pessimistic voices.  My ears were only attuned to the still small voice of my Master who was guiding me down a unique and very adventurous path but one that would also lead me through much pain over the years and through the “valley of the shadow of death.”  But I have chosen my path in order to please my God, rather than seeking self-glorification as many men do.  Furthermore, those who know me well can tell you that I am not one of those “glory hounds” who live only for their moments in the spotlight.  I have always hated being in the spotlight, realizing early on that there was nothing but emptiness in the glitter and that the glitter was not gold.   Whenever I was praised, I would usually simply say, “Thank you,” and then try to redirect the credit or accolades to others around me or those working for me, giving them a moment to shine. 

But God did start preparing me for leadership at a very early age. I suspect it might have been by His inspiration, but I was often involved in some scheme to make money, which taught me about initiative, ingenuity, courage, and self sufficiency.  There were great leadership lessons and lasting life lessons to be learned for a child trying to make money around the neighborhood in those days.  You couldn’t be timid with adults if you wanted to make money.  You had to be respectful but bold as brass.  We might pester our neighbors for any grass cutting, leaf raking, or other yard work for a couple of dollars.  Or my friend and I might walk up to the strip mall fronting Bankhead Highway at the end of our block where there were a few shops that would allow kids to do quick, simple chores for a quarter or two.  Also, I was lured in by the appeal of the commonplace ads in the back of comic books in those days which promised big money to young men willing to sell door-to-door whatever “lucrative” product their company offered.  These ads, of course, competed for space with the Charles Atlas ads which promised to turn any young man into a muscular hulk, someone to be respected and feared. 

Several times, I answered the ads for selling products, sending off for boxes of packets containing greeting cards, Christmas cards and gift tags, or flower and vegetable seeds, depending on the season.  I would sell my wares in neighborhoods near my home, knocking on the doors of complete strangers without any fear whatsoever.  I was about 9 or 10 at the time.  God must have been with me because I know that there were child predators even in those days.  Anyway, I would give a big smile, quickly rattling off my well-honed sales speech, and, in most cases, I would successfully make a sale.  I guess the sight of such a young lad with boldness, an engaging smile, good manners, and colorful personality would disarm most of the curmudgeons who would not normally have relinquished their money to a stranger at the door.  In any case, these ventures were always successful.  I always sold out my supplies.  Then I would keep my part of the money and send the rest back to the company.   

Another easy way to get money in those days was to collect glass soda bottles along the road that the refined citizens of our town would throw out of their car windows, probably for the very purpose of redistributing their wealth to the less fortunate.  In those days, the price of most sodas included a five cent deposit for the bottle in which it was contained.  If the customer didn’t bring back his or her bottles, perhaps throwing them out the car window, the bottle would still be worth five cents to any poor slob (or bright young man) that was willing to put in the time walking a few miles through the weeds on the side of the road looking for these treasures.  Ironically, the deposit was probably supposed to discourage such littering, but sometimes you really cannot legislate morality.

I pray that your day will be blessed with His loving, comforting presence and that you will rest peacefully this evening.

 


Comments

05/27/2016 12:49am

I don’t think so that the leadership is a factor that we should have to learned from other. I think that the leadership is a natural factor of the human beings those who have it they are know that how to utilize them.

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    I'm a retired soldier, having spent 23 years of my life serving our country, actually 30 years when you count the reserve and National Guard time as well.  I believe in servant leaders, following the example of our Lord, and I believe in giving back to the troops once one has attained a certain status or level of success in life.  But I also believe in fighting back against corruption and incompetence wherever you find it if it hurts people.  Our national values were worth dying for.  They are also worth living for.  A man or woman can actually live a life by these principles of humility, service, love, duty, and honor, and have a significant impact on the world around them...if you have the dedication to see it through. 

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