Thursday, January 12, 2006

Just prior to Christmas, I found myself attending a Lori Line concert at the Fargodome with my wife Di. Yes, I admit attending the event and it's probably the fifth or sixth time we have seen her perform in concert since we first met her playing piano in the Dayton's store in the Mall of America (Minneapolis, MN) in the early 1990s. But today's Morning Walk is not about her at all. It's about an older gentleman and his wife who sat directly in front of us at the concert.

Prior to the concert beginning, my wife Di went to grab a refreshment and at the same time, an older couple were finding their seats directly in front of me. They were settling in and discussing the topic of the husband leaving the opera glasses (binoculars) at home that should have been brought to the concert. The husband must have thought I was listening in on the conversation, so he turned to me and stated jokingly, "I'm not the brightest person in the world by any means." To help him save a little face, I simply replied out of the blue, "It doesn't matter how bright you are, just as long as you shine."

I'm not sure where that comment came from and I don't even know if it was ever uttered before, but it was a comment that I thought about throughout the concert, while watching Lori Line and all the individual musicians shine in their personal glory. I have no idea how bright any of these people are - Lori Line, the musicians, the audience members - but the chemistry in that theater setting was electric - enough to light up a city.

You, my friend, may wonder at times (like I do), "What do I really have to offer others around me?" I truly think it's a question we all wonder from time to time - Do I matter in the lives around me? Am I really accomplishing anything with my life?

Just this week, I was sharing with my son Leo that my favorite television show when I was his age was The Six Million Dollar Man - mostly because the main character Steve Austin was an American astronaut. I shared with my son that I always wanted to be an astronaut from a very early age. Leo quickly added, "But instead you became my dad. Which is probably better than being an astronaut." And at that point, my friend, I was most definitely SHINING!

You may not be called to set the world on fire. And that's okay. Perhaps your fire runs a lot hotter but is more contained - say, within your own family or neighborhood. It doesn't matter how bright you are, just as long as you shine, my friend.

NEVER EVER sell yourself short. You are a one of a kind and designed for a specific purpose. The challenge remains for each of us in this life to uncover, pursue and achieve that specific purpose. But what a grand and frustrating adventure it is in uncovering, pursuing and achieving! And while on that journey, don't fret - just shine on with all the uniqueness and grace that you can muster until your purpose reveals itself.

The night sky glistens and gleams because of the variety of light and activity constantly occurring across the Universe. Some systems burn brighter at times than others. Systems and seasons change and the lights across the heavens shine on - regardless of their magnitude. And you and I are intregal parts of this system as well. We burn brighter at times and are noticeable and other times, we're just burning on...

Regardless of your day today and the doubts you experience, you are special. You deserve the very best, so enjoy all the good that comes your way. And shine on. Shine on in your little corner of the world! Shine on in your little corner of the Universe! Regardless of the magnitude, your light is being noticed and seen from a distance by countless others. So shine on!