There are a few blogs that I routinely read. One of them includes some proverbs from different cultures. This one stuck me as really profound:
The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is today.
I’m too busy to write on my blog today. I have things to do in order to maintain the things that matter to me:
When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a way so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.
Making the world a better place matters to me. That takes work. The things that matter always take work… Things don’t get better without an investment in time and energy.
Then again, there is a concept of starting the ball rolling. There are so many things I am involved in today that began with a little “yes” many years ago. These things take energy to maintain, but many times others take over that maintenance. I say “things” but it is often people, because people really matter, not things. In essence, I “started the ball rolling” by choosing a path. In order to keep the ball rolling, I must either invest more time in keeping it going or inspire and enlist the help of others. In other words, I can inspire others to recognize the value in what matters to me.
Here’s an example… the campout this fall. About two or three years ago in the fall, I decided that I wanted to go camping. So I invited a few friends from church and we went camping together. It was such an awesome time that we decided to do it again in the spring (notice the “I” changed to “we”). We started doing it every spring and fall. Last spring I was too busy to notice the time approaching. My buddy, Dave M asked, “when are we going camping” Next thing I knew, we had planned a spring campout. Now that fall is approaching, we started planning another… but word has gotten out that we have a great time and others want to be a part. So this morning, we had a “board meeting” to plan the campout and propose taking it to the next level with the church and inviting all the guys.
Did you catch the “board meeting”? Others have now caught the vision and are investing with me in this camping thing. But we aren’t investing in a campout, we are investing in lives. Our hope is to make the world a better place. It’s about the lives of the guys who will be there. Who knows what will come of it.
I am reminded of what Bilbo Baggins told his nephew in the Lord of the Rings…
It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door,” he used to say. “You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.
I say it is a dangerous thing to decide that something really matters. You get swept up into it and if you don’t stop investing in it, there’s no knowing what you might accomplish.