What are you really all about? Have you figured that out? When people get to know you, what do they know about you? When the guys come around just to hang with you for a bit, what are they likely to know about you without even asking or thinking. Or when a friend is in a bind, what does he know he can count on you for because you are “the expert'” or “the local guru” or because that is what you do and everyone knows it.
It’s the thing that you can’t escape. Perhaps it’s a passion; perhaps it’s just something you picked up; maybe it’s just that thing that you do. Maybe it’s the thing that every time someone asks your wife where you are, she kind of rolls her eyes and replies, “Where do you think he is?”
What Will They Remember About You?
I remember years ago, someone phoned my house asking for me:
“Oh, he’s up on the roof.” – my wife answered in that nonchalant tone of voice.
“What’s he doing up on the roof?” – queried the perplexed caller.
“Praying” – was my wife’s simple response, as if that would be obvious.
“Does he always go up on the roof to pray?” – was the surprised response.
No. Vivian was just joking with him. I was actually shingling the roof, but being alone, I was undoubtedly praying as well.
I often think about what my children and grandchildren know about me. What do they see in me?
When I am gone, what will stick in their minds about me? What is the thing they will remember about me?
There are two thoughts that pass through my mind:
- No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.
- You cannot pass on something you do not have. Whatever you have, you will pass on.
No One Cares How Much You Know
That is a tough one for most of us guys. Being an expert is almost a sport. I know I am not the only one to hang on to a tasty bit of trivia in order to trot it out when the guys get together. I know something you don’t. That’s kinda my thing. That’s the stuff that makes me strut. I find it kind of deflating when I state a factoid at just the right interval in the conversation, and everyone looks at me as if they can’t believe I just figured that out.
But while they might enjoy my company because I tend to come up with those tidbits, the truth is they really don’t care about what I know. It doesn’t matter how long I’ve known them. Could be 5 minutes or 30 years – they soon learn that’s just my thing. But ask any one of them, and they will tell you that’s not what they care about. If I decided to stop with the ditties, they could care less. Why? Because what they really know about me is how much I care or don’t care. That’s what really determines how long they stick around.
They stay or go not because of what I know but because of the way I make them feel. That’s what the kids are going to remember about me. That is what anyone who knows me will remember about me. Take a lesson from “Dom” Toretto. Isn’t that’s the message and appeal of The Fast and Furious franchise?
Take the time to seriously think about that. How do you make your wife feel? How do your kids feel about you? How do you make your buddies feel? How do you make the small, the old and the weak feel? What do people know about you?
Whatever You Have, You Will Pass On
I can’t pass on what I don’t have. My brother taught me that. He raised his son as a single parent. He always wanted his son to know how much he loved him but spent most of his dad days feeling like a failure. He finally figured it out when Jesus showed him what a Father’s love truly feels like. You can’t pass on something that you don’t have.
I can tell people I am a Christian all day long, but if there is no love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, or self-control, then who will believe me? If you are not gracious to others, what good is it to tell them about grace? If we are not merciful and kind, then how will they believe that the God we profess is merciful and kind?
What Are You Really All About?
I might drive a Harley, have tats up and down; I might press 500 and have a 56′ Chevy in my garage. I might have a real man’s man cave out back. I might sport a six-inch beard. But all of that will pass away, and none of it will be what you are truly known and remembered for.
George Gillam, an inmate at Angola State Penitentiary, once stated that the attribute and reason people were attracted to the person of Jesus Christ was that they knew that he loved them.
How do you figure out what you are really all about? Ask: “How do you make people feel?”