In August 2013, I shared a post titled “Fear Not.” I was then in Florida reflecting on a fairly tough time in my life. In that post, I promised I would in time share some good news with you. Since then, against significant financial odds I was accepted to graduate school and I am now just a few months away from graduating with honors. Also since that date, I married Charlene, my compliment, best friend and the woman I love dearly. Plus, my first book will be published by the summer.
Despite the unbelievably devastating loss of my mentor and friend Dr. Myles Munroe, I reflect on the telephone conversation we had three days before the plane crash that killed him, his wife Pastor Ruth and seven others. It was November 6, 2014 and Pastor Munroe and I were confirming arrangements for him to talk to students in the leadership perspectives class I taught at my university. He died before it could happen but during that conversation he had said something remarkable I will never forget. He told me he was proud of me and had recently reviewed a copy of my life’s vision and mission statement I gave him more than five years prior. He told me I was on track and encouraged me to continue my work.
In similar form, I encourage you to have a personal vision and mission statement for your life and then to pursue it with vigor. Now is the time. Your moments are here. Let not life triumphs and/or tribulations distract you. Miracles may take many forms and may be as “simple” as the change of ones heart from apathy and unforgivenness to altruism and compassion. What you do matters!
“I Love My Life”….the popular reggae song played from the boom box connected to my iPad as the group of about eighty, 5th and 6th grade boys swayed to the positive lyrics. Then, their excitement and anticipation grew as I selected a few of them to show their dancing skills in front of the class. Each of the four boys showed off their popping, breaking and other popular dance moves as their classmates cheered them on.
As the momentum continued to build, the students eagerly shouted responses to my rallying call. “CW Sawyer Eagles can you hear me?” “Yes Sir!” they screamed. With the room divided into two halves, each tried to top the other. They seemed as excited about the music and entertainment as the permission to shout as loudly as they wanted. We laughed, clapped our hands and talked for about 40 minutes. But what stood out most to me was our discussion about what they wanted to be when they grow up. Mick wants to be a dancer, Roland a Royal Bahamas Defense Force officer, Wisley a carpenter and Teko, an FBI agent. Joranden wants to be an astronaut, Shaquille an NBA star and Daron a truck driver. For others, they want to be a singer, doctor, artist, scientist, fisherman, track star, musician, UFC fighter, teacher, zoo keeper, pilot and even a spy. Phil Stubbs’ popular Bahamian song, Persevere reinforced the importance of what they had to say. It took longer than I had expected but gladly I listened as every one of the young men got to express his dream for adulthood.
What about you? What would you like to be when you “grow up”? Some of us are barely past our teens. That’s the Justin Bieber, Bodine and TI’s of today. Others of us have been around long enough to know who John F. Kennedy, R.M. Bailey and Bruce Lee are. Wherever you are on the time line, the truth is your time won’t last forever. Carpe diem, “seize the day.” What you do matters.