Once upon a time a father and son were discussing the importance and significance of success. The son finally said, “It must be great to be famous and have people remember your name, like Paul Revere. Now he was a great man.”
The father responded, “Yes, Paul Revere was a great and memorable man, but do you know the name of his horse?”
Of course the boy did not, nor do we, for history does not record its name.
The father then said, “Did you ever stop to think that Paul Revere could not have taken the ride if it had not been for the horse?”
That causes me to pause and ponder. Who has helped bring me to this moment in my life? I did not arrive here on my own. Some of my influencers have been my wife, teachers, parents, siblings, authors, speakers, and friends along the way who have contributed to my present state.
From time to time I like to reflect on some of these individuals and whisper a word of gratitude for their influence and guidance. If they happen to still be alive, I’ll occasionally picked up the phone just to say ‘Hi’ and ‘Thanks’, or send a quick email.
I have a friend who is now a successful pastor of a large church in New Mexico. When we reconnected on Facebook after an absence of many years we now keep in touch. In one of his posts, my friend Larry said, “Of all the good influences in my life, you were the first.”
Wow! When I first met him Larry was a teenager in my youth group. He had a lot of zeal but few skills and only a vague sense of what he wanted to do with his life. I befriended him, we spent time together, I continually gave him opportunities to grow and expand.
After I left Albuquerque, he graduated high school and went on to college – incidentally the college I attended. He got his degree, came back to New Mexico and accepted the pastorate of a small 30-member congregation.
He continued on, went to seminary, moved to a large church in Ohio, and then back to his New Mexico roots to an even larger congregation. He is now Doctor Larry, married to Lisa, with kids and grandkids, and a church that is thriving and growing. And he thanked me for being an early influencer.
How amazing is that.
Today would be a dandy day for us to make the connection with someone who has been a major player in our lives.
P Michael Biggs
One Word at a Time