I received a delightful card recently. It said something like this: "today is my fiftieth birthday and I am writing to 50 individuals who have helped me become what I am. You have been a blessing to me and influenced me. Thank you." It was a blessing to receive both because of the thoughtfulness of the note and because it is a rare occurrence. Too often we live under the illusion that we got to where we are by ourselves. That is never true. Countless people have influenced us along the way and the more we realize that the more we have to thank God for. And those who invested in us!
Recently I sat down and made a list of all those who have positively influenced my life and it was a long list. These are people who have believed in me, encouraged me along the way in the journey or whose character and life have rubbed off on me. As I contemplated that list I was humbled and realized again that we grow and flourish in community as Bonhoeffer so eloquently wrote about. Those who remain insular are those who lose out on this wonderful blessing.
We run the race that is life with a group of wonderful fellow pilgrims. We ought to be ever conscious of how we can encourage and help them and conscious of how they wonderfully impact our own lives. And rather than taking it for granted, lets acknowledge their contribution to our lives and seek to make one to theirs. Whether we know it or not, our lives are the accumulation of those who have blessed us along the way. We do not stand alone but with so many who have walked the journey with us.
And so, Walt, Susan, Carol, Grant, Ken, Barb, Mom, Dad, Tom, Kevin, Gary, Brian, Daryl, Dave, Jeff, Mary Ann...... thank you.
(Written from Hua Hin, Thailand)
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