Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Point

The Point

Darren Hardy, publisher of Success Magazine, related this story recently.

In 2009, Darren went with his dad to visit one of his long-time-friends.  The man was in a medical care facility and was nearing his earthly end.  As Darren and his father started to leave, the man called Darren back to his bedside.  As Darren sat down, he could tell that this man had something important to say.

He grabbed Darren’s arm and said, Don’t miss the point like I did.” 

He continued… “I wish I had spent as much time and energy accumulating relationships as I did accumulating houses.  I wish I would have invested my heart as aggressively as I did my money.  Only now do I understand true wealth, and none of it appears on a balance sheet.” 

And then he squeezed Darren’s arm as if to put an exclamation point on what he had just said. 

I love the comment “invested my heart”.  That is what people need from us. 
-We get into the lives of others when we invest our hearts.
-We become intimate in relationships.
-We listen with our hearts and our ears.
-We become an ally when one is needed.
-We are there, in the flesh, when it matters.
-We sometimes put our agenda aside and focus on their agenda.
-We live with them through the crisis.
-We laugh, we love, we pray, we walk through whatever it is that life brings, and we do it together.

Don’t miss the point!

What a significant statement. 

When it’s all said and done what matters the most is people and relationships.  Bank accounts and balance sheets are good, but investing in the lives of others is better.

What would happen if we pressed 
the pause button on occasion and said …?

“Today I’ll call someone from my past just to catch up.”
“Today I’ll make peace with my neighbor.”
“Today we are going to watch a special baseball game.  Let the meeting happen without me.
“Today the most important thing I can do is focus on you.”

Catch all of life’s important opportunities that you can.  There are no do-overs. 

Reminds me of a 17th century poem:
Gather ye rosebuds while you may
Old Time is still a-flying
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying
-Robert Herrick

Don’t miss the point. 

P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Thoughts about Threads

Thoughts about Threads

I can’t sew worth a darn, but if I could, I would make a mitten, mend a holey sock or crochet a blanket to warm the world.

What can one lowly thread do?

When I try to thread a needle, that thin speck of fiber is such a blur to my eyes, but oh what it could become. 

Sometimes all it takes is a thread to break open some mysterious crime scene.  Just watch TV for a couple hours some evening and you’ll see what I mean. 

When you take a broad look at our world you will appreciate this thread-size concept.  Look what the thread of an idea has produced.

Airplanes and beyond
   Printing press
    Foods in abundance
     Medicine for most ailments
    Business ventures
   Great wealth
  Life-changing ideas and attitudes

And on and on and on and on …

What can become of a simple, thin, barely visible thread?

Perhaps the difference between life and rescue - or danger and death.

What are the threads in your life?
What are your thoughts, dreams, passions, and wannabe wishes?

It starts simply as an idea - a thread of a thought. 

My, what a thing to behold.  Watch as something majestic comes from a simple thread of one idea.
You have ideas.  I know you do. 

I hope you’ll take the loose threads in your life - your possibilities, and begin weaving them.

Weave them into
          Something marvelous and wonderful
                    Something useful and needed
                              Something pleasing and beneficial. 

Create something! 

P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Crooked Lines

Crooked Lines

I am not a straight arrow.  Never have been. 

Are you?

If one were to map my life it would have twists and turns, curves, hills, valleys, hard places, disappointments, all with a bunch of joys intermixed. 

I imagine your life could be described this way as well. 

So, what do we do with all of these bends and busts, bombs and blessings?

We realize that someone larger is watching over things.  We realize there is a higher power, a source beyond understanding who is watching, nudging, catching when we fall, but always present through it all.

I found this recently.

“God writes straight with crooked lines.” 
Teresa of Avila

-I’m pretty good, but I’m not perfect. 
   -I can’t draw worth a darn. 
      -I’ve made some really dumb choices. 
         -I’ve gotten into trouble. 
         -I’ve missed the mark. 
      -I nearly failed philosophy in college. 
   -I was left behind in a job once.
-They said I was no longer wanted in another. 

It has not been a pretty site.  My path has been discombobulated.  But I know who is in charge.

When I look back over the landscape I can see clearly how my Creator has guided me.  I was blind to it at the time.  I wanted my own way almost always, but knowing the relationship I have maintained with the Divine one, I have trusted the disappointments, discouraging signs and the devastating demises to his wise heart. 

Know what?

He has taken the crooked road and made it straight. 

I've not always landed where I wanted to land, but I have always risen again and kept moving forward.  And the next chapter has always been good and exciting.  When looking back over my path I can see how these situations have added to my bag of experiences.

It is amazing how the God of the universe can take the broken pieces of our lives and create this beautiful mosaic.  When allowed to, he makes the crooked places straight, the weak people strong, broken places whole and the ugly things beautiful.

What a God!
What a Creator!
What a higher power!

Do things need straightening in your life?   Bring them to The Fixer. 

He writes straight with crooked lines.

P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Staying Power

Staying Power

We’ve all seen it a dozen times.  Someone crosses our path who exhibits an amazing amount of raw talent and we stand back in awe.  What might they become?  Surely they will go far in life.

Perhaps that has been said of you, or someone you know. 

And then reality sets in.  That shining star fades from sight only to be replaced by the next brilliant talent that came along. 

I’ve seen this a few times.  I’ve wondered about it.  Pondered it. 

Here is what I have concluded: 

Raw talent is good, but without nurture, development and focus it will soon fade into the background.

It boils down to this:
~What do you want? 
~How far do you want to go? 
~What kind of investment are you willing to make?

The Beatles weren’t the Beatles because they appeared on the Ed Sullivan show on February 9, 1964.  They were the Beatles because they played hour after hour in seedy, shoddy, no-name bars.  They were the Beatles because they worked hard at their craft, writing song after song and then testing them before a live audience. 

They were listened to, ignored, tolerated; they got discouraged and nearly gave up.  Finally, they gained a following.  They became the Beatles because they persevered.  They had hope and they persevered. 

It wasn’t luck. 

They had staying power.

Yoyo Ma is Yoyo Ma because he spent isolated hours in practice rooms perfecting his technique on the cello.  Yes, he started playing at age four.  Yes, he came from good musical stock.  Both parents had acute musical skills, but he had the staying power needed to continue his potential as a world-class cellist.  And now the world knows his name.

Arnold Schwarzenegger became Mr. Universe first in his mind, and then he did the hard work that it took to become a champion body builder.  He later won the Mr. Olympia title seven times.  He wasn’t born Mr. Olympia.  He wasn’t born with bulging muscles.  He became Mr. Olympia because he had a dream and he had staying power

Wayne Gretzky is touted as one of the great hockey players of all time.  It is said that he could anticipate where the hockey puck was going to be and he would then skate to that spot.  He didn't learn to do that in one game or one season.  He didn’t wait until he was twenty-one to become a hockey great.  He started at age fifteen.  He wasn’t the fastest skater and he wasn’t the strongest, but he became the greatest.  He had a dream and he had staying power.

It all boils down to this: 
How you start is important,
but not nearly as important
as how you finish.
It’s staying power that matters. 

-What are your hopes and dreams?
-What would you do if you knew you could be immensely successful at it?
-Where are you today?
-What’s the next step toward your hope and dream?

I hope you find the stuff inside of you to go after your dream. 

You can, you know.  Just develop staying power!

A determined soul will do more
with a rusty monkey wrench
than a loafer will
with a shop full
of the latest tools.
-Rupert Hughes

P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time