Why is a question that toddlers tend to repeat over and over but as we age the question becomes even more important, but often less asked.To be completely honest, I’m not exactly sure why I felt like this was the right move to make a page and create blogs that share experiences, moments and lessons. I cannot look at this and pinpoint the exact cause for creating a blog to share my thoughts and ideas. Why is a question that toddlers tend to repeat over and over but as we age the question becomes even more important, but often less asked. I cannot answer it straight forward, but I can let you in on moments in my life that have ultimately led me here, writing this, right now.
Let me first begin with the alias for my mentor, Bob. Although Bob is not his actual name, for the sake of his privacy, it was the first name that popped up in my never ending email inbox of +5,000 unread emails. It sounded pretty average, and that’s what an alias is supposed to be, right? Anyway. Bob was a mentor of mine who I met in a random conversation after he had exclaimed how loud my group had been in a restaurant. Naturally, my first response was to apologize and then compliment him. He was old, not the best dressed man, nor the best looking man, so I went to something simple and superficial.
“Hey, I like your chain.”
The chain was gold, and gold is my favorite type of jewelry, and like most moves I make in my life (including this blog), I felt it was only right. So I complimented his chain. One thing led to another and come to find out Bob was a track coach, was a basketball coach, was an educator in the south that fought hard for equality for the black community. Bob also attended a local church nearby the restaurant. I was star struck speaking with Bob hearing his wisdom and how much we had in common even with half a century separating us in age.
Bob went on… and on…
I cannot remember everything we had talked about, but what was most important was that Bob was a mentor for many. Bob was looking for someone to mentor next. He taught a discipleship program that was focused on sharing. Sharing the good news, sharing the story of how Christ has changed you personally. How you have grown, what you have learned?
Begin with the end in mind.
“Discipleship means the process of becoming like our teacher. To disciple someone means to teach them everything we know. [For example] for us to be a Christian disciple, we must not only learn and follow the teaching of Jesus but we must tell others about Jesus and help them to follow Him as well. Jesus gave us a model or method to do this. He selected a few people and allowed them to watch him and be with him in all of his daily activity. He taught them, modeled for them, and then sent them out to do what they had been taught and what they had been shown. Begin with the end in mind.”
For the next year Bob mentored me through his trainings. He drilled in my head that with everything we do in our life, we must always begin with the end in mind. If I am going to read this book, eat this food, go to this party, participate in this group, what am I looking to do? What am I looking to gain? Why am I partaking? With everything, I had to begin with an end goal in mind. This was so important because it allowed me to prioritize better, to think sharper, and like a toddler, question everything that I take part in.
The following summer, Bob bowed out of his courageous fight with cancer and passed.
However, what he left behind were the seeds in which he planted with the end in mind. To spread the good news. To connect with any and all people. To share. Why? So that other can have the secrets to living a purpose filled life led not by us, but by our divine calling.
Do not just tell people you love them, make them feel it.
The next reason why this blog began also came at a dark point in my life. I had to be revealed and face a harsh reality. I would not consider this person a mentor, although I learned so much for her. She was more a of peer to me. I could relate on a much deeper level based on our closeness in age, and struggles we experienced.
June, 2017 I had left a job prematurely. I was never sure why. I just packed up and left. I was in a different state, far from home, and I felt like I needed to be home. My body was in one place, but my mind and heart were back in Indianapolis. I made up excuse after excuse trying to justify a poor move on my part.
I made the move because, again, it just felt right.
It took two weeks after returning to Indianapolis to realize why I had come home. My peer was dying of cancer, and I had no idea. An emotionally charged conversation revealed the truth: she had approximately four weeks left to live.
Having fought and overcoming my own fight of cancer, I knew that there is nothing more humbling than death becoming a reality. I had to glean all of the wisdom and perspective from her, as I had been doing before I knew of her condition. She is and will always be personally regarded as the wisest young woman I had ever met. She gave everyone she encountered an energy and life that I had never seen anyone do before. She was one that would walk into a room and all eyes were on her. Her natural energies, positivity and charisma attracted attention and people wanted to be around her and a part of whatever she was doing. I believe it was credited through what she said:
“Do not just tell people you love them, make them feel it.”
She made people feel her love, which is why I looked up to her so much. It’s not everyday that one is told they have four weeks to live before they can even legally sit in the 21 and over section in Applebee’s or rent a car and have it dropped off to you. I needed to know more so I asked the million dollar question that only few get the opportunity to get asked:
The response that I received made it clear that this was the right thing to do.
So it was created. Cultivating Life…
Those who go on to eternal life before us pave the way and set the example for how we too should go when our name is called home.
I wondered why was this all happening? The people who have done so much for so many were suffering, and there was nothing I could do about it. Then, it began to all make sense. When I was lost I turned to faith for my answers.
Jesus walked this earth as a perfect man, and even he too had to bear a cross. His cross that he carried through the town in which he was to be crucified on is the metaphor that represents our struggles in life. No struggle is the same. No loss of a loved one is the same because each person on this earth have different connections, meaning, and value to each different individual person.
Thank you to my mentor, my peer, and my heavenly father for giving me these crosses to bear. Through them all it is my hope that I can return to the youthful mindset of a toddler and always ask, why?
We each bear crosses in this life differently, some struggles heavier than others. However, as we are called to our last days on earth this still remains true:
Those who go on to eternal life before us pave the way and set the example for how we too should go when our name is called home. For them, it began with sharing.