You just felt that same feeling that coursed through Charles Lindop as he turned from surfing on the waters of Avalon beach.
It was incomprehensible. My brain couldn’t process the images my eyes were seeing. It was almost like having an out-of-body experience.
You turn. There’s your 15 year old son. Surfing on the waters of Sydney?
In the jaws of a massive white shark.
You know, Jaws.
The thing is as tall as you. Massive. Grinning its horrible white teeth as it sinks them into his leg. He hasn’t eaten all day, and he’s going for his meal.
It’s fierce. Terrible. Horrendous.
All of the horrible words in the world wrapped into one.
Suddenly you are frozen to your spot. A second becomes a day. Your mouth is clammy. Your muscles taut. Are your eyes serious? Are you hallucinating?
And suddenly all you are thinking is that the 5000 lb creature had better let go of your son.
I bet those cowboys who go in there and ride a 2000 lb bull would tell you they’d never want to tackle a 5000 lb shark.
You turn into the waters. Why don’t you run away? You can’t win the local swimming competition to save your life.
But you could win to save your son’s. It’s the fastest 75 meters you have ever paddled.
Is it adrenaline? Is it human instinct? Is it the love of a parent? Is it the grotesque daring of the horrible white monster?
What causes a hero to be born at that moment?
I don’t know, but I wonder. What do you think? What makes a man, a woman, or a child turn into the danger to face it, fight it, and triumph over it instead of away from it?
Is your heart thumping in your ribs? Sure it’s thumping. Is your mind racing? Sure, you can’t even form a thought if you tried. Are you afraid? Sure you’re afraid. But you’re not so afraid that you can’t turn right into those waters and wrestle your son from the jaws of a shark.
At that moment something else becomes more important than your fear.
That’s when courage is born.
That beautiful morning that Charles Lindop took his teenage son Andrew for the adventure of surfing, he never dreamed what was in store for him.
Richard Peltier is another father who fought to save his son David from the jaws of a shark. He thrust his right hand into the shark’s mouth. He tried to punch the shark’s mouth open. It was human vs. monster. Finally he smacked the shark in the eye. That’s when the shark gave up the fight. After his son died from the injuries, he sobbed, “I didn’t do enough.” A witness said he had done everything he could.
Richard Peltier is a hero.
Charles Lindop is a hero too. His story has a happy ending. After 4 hr surgery and 9 days in the hospital, Andrew’s ready to go back into the water.
At some point, you have faced fear in your life. I have. Fear of the unknown. Fear of failure….Perhaps you are even facing it now.
Your heart pounds. The shirt you are wearing is dripping with sweat. Your forehead tightens. Your eyes are glued in terror.
Did you rise above that? Did you say “I can”?
When fear met you, was courage born?
Dear You, that is when you triumphed.
Don’t be afraid. A friend of mine used to say to me over and over, “Let not your heart be troubled, don’t let it be afraid.”
Now I say to you, ”Don’t let your heart be troubled.”
You can look fear in the eye and say “I Can, but You Can’t.”
You are strong. You can be courageous.
P.S. Answers to Who Said So? 1. Mother Theresa 2. Nelson Mandela 3. Wayne Gretzky Canadian hockey player 4. Will Rogers 5. Vince Lombardi 6. Mahatma Ghandi 7. Billie Jean King American female tennis player 8. Winston Churchill 9. Yogi Berra NY Yankee Baseball 10. If you just could not figure this one out, don’t worry, I couldn’t either. Why? We don’t know who wrote it. :) The answer is: Unknown.
Who knows…you may even land on the moon…
Yesterday I had the chance to sit and listen to someone talk who has been an inspiration to millions the world over. I won’t name any names but I will leave you to guess for yourself who it is.
Sure, he has his critics. Everyone does. You have yours. I have mine. He has his.
But that does not seem to matter to him.
You can’t. Of course you can’t. There’s no way he can….There were so many people that said he could not do what he set out to do. And he said not to pay attention to the “people that say you can’t, because those are the people who never could.”
If you have a passion, and you have a dream, and someone dares to tell you that there’s no way you could ever do that…
maybe they are the ones that need to evaluate who has their priorities straight.
You can if you will…you won’t if you can’t.
He may be famous the world over…
but it has not changed him. He’s genuine. He’s real. He has his faults, his quirks, he has his strengths, he’s competitive, he’s funny, he has a way of telling stories that makes everyone laugh…he has a passion for what he does…
And he said, that in the end, he wanted his legacy to be known as “someone that’s made an impact on kids’ lives.”
That’s how he wants to have an impact. In the end, will all of the other stuff that keeps the news in a frenzy about him really matter?
No. In the end, what matters is that some little child who was brought to a Philippine orphanage in a small cardboard box was gathered into the arms of someone who loved her, was given food to eat, a special home to live in, a chance to live life like a child should.
Before her only chance was a small cardboard box…Now opportunities for her have no limit…they soar sky high with possibilities!
He finished by saying, “You never know when you’re in your fourth quarter, when you’re in your two-minute drill, so let’s try to finish strong now.”
For a gal who had an uncle play on NFL defense …touchdown! This really hits it home for me.
My uncle is a strong person…he’s a strong person physically, but he’s also a strong person within as well.
Recently my uncle’s brother died.
My uncle is grieving.
He spoke quieter…the twinkle in his eye was no longer there….when I last went to see him….
he was missing the brother who played alongside both him and another brother on defense and helped lead their college team (ironically my school’s hated rivals) to the National Championship two years in a row…his brother has scores of honors to his credit…first round draft pick of Tampa Bay Bucs…six-time All Pro…NFL hall of fame…etc etc…
But to my uncle, this man is the brother stood alongside him not only on the field but off the field…he is the dearly-loved little brother who suddenly passed away…and who my uncle is missing deeply…
….but he still kindly asked me what was in the works in my life for next fall. My uncle is such a strong person.
So is Mr. Speaker.
Whoever you may be, you can be a strong person!
And by strong I don’t mean bullying and trying to control everyone in your pathway (remember, true strength may bring about power, but power does not bring about true strength), I mean strength as in…
knowing you have weaknesses but that you are trying to do the right thing…making a difference in the lives of those around you…
being secure and satisfied in who you are…and that means being genuine, being real. A fake person is like someone who is caked in stage makeup, you’re left wondering whose really underneath????????????
By this time, some of you are probably guessing the man behind the words.
Go ahead and try! You’re probably right.
Whether you like him or not, no one can argue that what he said is not important to all of us. It is! How are we making an impact? What if this is your two minute drill?
Was it awesome to sit there and hear him speak, candidly, about his life, his experiences, his beliefs, his passion for what he does? Yup, sure was!
I was inspired by his stories…his words…his life…
Make someone else in your life inspired by yours.
The world is full of people looking for spectacular happiness while they snub contentment. Doug Larson
There are times when we wish we were in another place. In another time. We wish we had the ultimate circumstance.
Take for instance, my folks and I. Due to some circumstances about the place in which we live, my folks have been searching for another place.
They love the house where they live.
But there are some things about it that are–let’s put it this way, really inconvenient.
Cars covered in dirt. Everytime my nana would come over, she would wipe off the mantel and say,
“Where is the Endust?”
“Uh, we just dusted that before you came, Nana.”
“Really?” (swiping a finger through the dust)
That’s what you get when you are surrounded by fields and you live in the windiest region in the United States.
So my folks met with a realtor, who was beyond fantastic.
They had their list of qualifications.
But there is not a place in the area where they are wanting to live that meets most of their qualifications…
except for one.
And that is where they are living right now.
Which is rather ironic, huh?
Have they ever considered that they might actually be living in the right place?
So often we become dissatisfied about where we are at in life.
When our ideal is really sitting right before our very eyes.
Sometimes we miss out on it because it is right beneath us, and we are looking ahead, straining in the distance to find it.
It is not that we aren’t looking hard enough. It is that we are living it and we don’t realize it.
Do you live in a “house,” like my folks, and meanwhile are writing up the list of what you really wish you had? There are many areas of our life…take for instance, relationships.
I wish he would not pick his teeth after every meal. (I believe that I would have zero tolerance for someone who did this, it so grosses me out)
He likes the fan going full blast at night. I’m not surprised then that he steals the covers, but this is really starting to get on my nerves. (get two pairs of sheets)
When I find her, she’s gonna like so-in-so on so-in-so show… (boy meets a girl) I like her, but I was hoping for someone who looked like…(yes, I know, like so-in-so on so-in-so show, and sir, you are really a hopeless case)
He always sleeps when he gets home from work…What is he doing now? What? He’s sleeping, again? (My mom’s favorite.)
Is he bugging you like crazy? Or are you expecting her to be perfect?
Nobody’s perfect. Do not put up with stupidity, but do not lust after perfection.
If you want him to be that way, or he wants you to change to suit his list of the “ideal house qualifications” because you yourself are not fine enough to suit him, then two somebodies somewhere have their sights set a little high…
more like, terribly high.
Somebody has created the “ideal house qualification list.”
And somebody’s “ideal house” is sleeping at their side every night.
This post should really begin with ‘Dear M.E.’ Because in some ways, I am really writing this post to myself.
My journal right now is reading the following:
(I choke a little when I read those two entries. How come it took me a day to get that smart?)
What a word to try to live, especially in today’s “fast-food, get-rich-quick, work-from-your couch, look-it-up-online” world that we live in. Self-gratification cultivated and rewarded everywhere. I’ll be the first to admit that I have been swallowed into it.
Dear M.E., in all of that, remember two things. Just two things.
Spectacular happiness isn’t real.
Contented happiness is.
It is real as the milk sitting in your refrigerator.
Or the eggs.
Or whatever you’ve got in your refrigerator.
P.S. Is the moving van parked in my folk’s driveway? Nope. Looks like they’re stuck there for a while…more like a long time. She convinced them they didn’t need to move.
Crashes of thunder. Flashes of lightning. The boat was filling rapidly with water. The sailors were fighting the storm gallantly, but nothing seemed to help. The folks inside took anxious glances towards the rear of the ship. But still He slept. More wind. More thunder. More waves. Finally they couldn't stand it. They ran to the rear of the boat and poured out their hearts. "Don't you hear? Don't you see what we're going through? Why do you remain silent? Why don't you answer? You have promised to save us when we call. Where are you? Don't you care?" To all of these fearful pleadings He said nothing... but to the storm He said, "Be still!" The ordeal was over. And he turned to them, with a tone of voice that was loving and compassionate, said: *****"Why are ye so fearful? How is it ye have no faith?"**** To the day I was afraid: Why are you so fearful? To the day I doubted: How is it you have no faith? Fear & doubt, the two greatest pests of our lives. And He had two questions for those who were standing with Him and were scared and doubting. "Why are you so fearful? How is it you have no faith?" So the next time that finds you afraid....the next day that finds you doubting and wondering where Jesus is. He is there. "Why are you so fearful?" "How is it you have no faith?" Love, M.E. P.S. Read the closing chapters of Mark 4.
First glimpse of the dunes.
Looks like folks have been there already. I can see their footprints.
We all leave footprints in the sands of our lives.
Climbing these dunes is not easy.
It’s not easy, but I know it’s possible. It’s possible because I can see footprints in the sand left by somebody else who tried.
We may be struggling and straining to make it up to the top, but we can look across the way and see someone else who has struggled up the same hill…
And made it.
That is inspiration.
These are the people who leave footprints on our hearts. Footprints in our lives.
And we are never the same again.
We can know that we can make it to the top because we can see their footprints rising over the hill…and going beyond.
You will never walk alone.
Love to each of you,
(P.S. You may be wondering, what’s up with M.E.’s folks at the moment? Well, these dunes are so popular, it looks like we’ll be coming back tomorrow. How does grilling kabobs out on the dunes sound? The silence, the sunset, the smell of barbequeing kabobs wafting into the air….silence and peace and rest from the cares of life.)