“I am disturbed when I see the majority of so-called Christians having such little understanding of the real nature of the faith they profess. Faith is a subject of such importance that we should not ignore it because of the distractions or the hectic pace of our lives.” William Wilberforce
“If children have the ability to ignore all odds and percentages, then maybe we can all learn from them. When you think about it, what other choice is there but to hope? We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up, or Fight Like Hell.” Lance Armstrong
“Sri Yukteswar showed no special consideration to those who happened to be powerful or accomplished; neither did he slight others for their poverty or illiteracy. He would listen respectfully to words of truth from a child, and openly ignore a conceited pundit.” Paramahansa Yogananda
“Scripture is filled with examples of men and women whom God used late in life, often with great impact – men and women who refused to use old age as an excuse to ignore what God wanted them to do.” Billy Graham
“We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee.” Marian Wright Edelman
I have often considered myself a loser without having any need to say it out loud. So many times I have watched as other people jump in ahead of me to say or do something. It may be in my mind or heart to make a difference but I am just late on the response. I have always been the last one to get a joke if I got it at all. I received the lower grades than my siblings and was never picked in school to take part in a school play. School plays are almost obsolete now but at one time quite apropos. I think one can easily get a picture of where I stood in everyone’s eyes. That is what I believed
I recall hearing others talk about college and which ones they wanted to attend. I thought about which ones would possibly accept me. Having entered a college at a young age and having to work to pay for it, I eventually quit after two years and took a full-time job at the place of my employment. I could not work and study and came down with mononucleosis. Of course, I felt like a failure and I also believed if I had the guts and stamina I could have done it. So I blamed it on my lack of strength to complete it.
Going to quit?
Eventually, when my kids were all in school I went back to school and spent twelve years working on my undergraduate and then my graduate degree. I worked part-time, raised my kids with my husband and studied at night and on weekends. I can’t tell you how many times I was going to quit. I came so close every time but having quit before I hung in there until I finally succeeded. I am nothing to brag about but I made it and graduated. I didn’t make friends at school because they were younger and in a different phase of their lives than I was.
I went to work as a special education teacher and discovered the heartache kids endure daily. I was never the best at finding easier ways to teach things but I learned I could sense the feelings of children immediately and alleviate their emotional pain which I did. It took me longer to accomplish anything which left me after school many nights working on my classes. I loved it and didn’t mind because my own kids were high school and college and were busy themselves.
During teacher meetings, my opinions were never discussed or considered. None of my colleagues disliked me but neither was I in the popular groups. I realized how easily someone is classified and delineated into whatever group someone wants them to be in. I accepted this because no matter what my opinion was nor how good my work was others always appeared to be so much better. I had to admit how much I lacked.
Desire to help
I have always felt the desire to help those who have been overlooked or those who simply need help at that moment in time. It got stronger as I got older and now I sense that God is pushing me to accept the responsibility and so I write. I have always written but only recently gotten stuff published. I am not the best and never was no will be. I think that it is what likely held me back. I believed if I couldn’t be successful like others I should just not try.
I have discovered that the smallest screw serves its purpose in keeping a building standing. We are not always those giant beams yet we do our part and without us, the largest beams will perhaps crumble. I also realized that worth is defined in numerous ways and God’s definition is different than man’s. Some people are so sure of their value while others devalue their own worth.
I worked as a volunteer in my town’s fire department for over thirteen years on the ambulance. The group of people were from all walks of life and all had their problems to deal with yet when working together it was like parts of a car. Like magic we each did our part to make it run. No one questioned anyone’s part. We were all thankful for the jobs that were fulfilled. The crazy thing is those people were heroes yet never went out on a call without fear myself included.
Heroes have fear. Winners can believe they are losers. How do we judge what a winner-loser or hero is? Someone who stops to change your flat tire on a rainy day is a hero although he might think the opposite. Giving to toy drives volunteering for building homes for veterans and even to aid an older person who needs help. There is no ending or beginning. There is no job too little or too small that God might ask us to do. I suppose the question is whether or not we will choose to do it.
Being afraid is not being cowardly. I used to think am I the only one who is afraid at a highway accident scene? I dreaded the jaws of life-crushing and cutting above my head as I held traction on someone in the back of a car. I prayed they didn’t slip or make any mistakes. At times I wanted to jump out and run and although I never did, I questioned my cowardly feelings. I know many firemen who dread going into a burning building as they trust their own instincts to know when they should retreat before the ceiling and walls come crashing in on them.
None of them enjoys such an incident and all are relieved when it is over and although many think about retreating, rarely if ever does that happen. They would be the first to admit they didn’t feel brave when a discussion was held after such an incident. They admitted being terrified at times. I bet they did not see themselves as brave or heroes. They saw life in its reality and their desire to help others overcame their fear of doing nothing.
It leaves all of us with some truths about life and losers. None of us are losers. We face situations every day that are difficult to deal with. We have job loss, miscarriages, difficult marriages, divorces and all other kinds of problems. We are faced everyday with challenging situations to deal with and endure. All of us fear everyday and some of us even fear how to deal with our lives, and sometimes we fear those who live with us.
Make a difference
We are called upon everyday to make a difference in someone’s life. Every time we respond in the affirmative we have shed our blanket of fear to listen to the call. I like others grab my fear blanket as soon as the crises is over. That is okay because I finally know I am not a loser. I still need to be told what the punch line is on a joke and I am aware of the tremendous amount of people who are stronger and wiser than I will even come close too. I am still not a loser and neither is anyone else who faces their fears every day with courage.
Someone needs to be there for the person who is at an all time low and needs a listening ear, or the young mother who is in need of support, or the kids who are hurting from all kinds of abuse. At times it requires seeing and hearing and getting the ones involved who can make a difference. During each day, we must answer the call to come to the aid of others. We can’t ignore the cries with the excuse of being a loser because that is not the truth. Even your smile tells someone somebody sees them and cares.
“Sometimes it takes a lowly, title-less man to humble the world. Kings, rulers, CEOs, judges, doctors, pastors, they are already expected to be greater and wiser.” Criss Jami
“When emerging from humble beginnings those around you tend to underestimate your authenticity because they knew you before you were somebody.” Criss Jami
“If you’re an underdog, mentally disabled, physically disabled, if you don’t fit in, if you’re not as pretty as the others, you can still be a hero.” Steve Guttenberg
“Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you. Love me and I may be forced to love you.” William Arthur Ward