I don’t know who originated this quiz. It’s been around a while. But I ran across it again in my files. It goes like this.
1. Name the 5 wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last 5 Heisman trophy winners.
3. Name the last 5 winners of the Miss America pageant.
4. Name the last 3 people who’ve won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize
5. Name the last 5 World Series winners.
How did you do?
Now try this second quiz.
1. List 3 teachers who made a difference in your life.
2. Name 3 friends who’ve helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name 5 people who’ve taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of 5 people who make you feel appreciated and special.
5. Think of 5 people you enjoy spending time with.
Now, was that easier?
The lesson is obvious. Life is about relationships. About people we interact with. It’s about people we serve. And who serve us. It’s about fellowship. Kinship. And community.
While the high achievers in their respective fields deserve the honor and reward of their success, soon the applause subsides. Their achievements are forgotten. And their awards are yesterday’s news.
Oh, they make the news. For a while. But the talking heads move on to others stories. And we soon forget. For most of us, there no emotional attachment to the famous and celebrated people of our day.
But the people who make the real difference in our lives are those with whom we have interaction. Connection. And commitment. They impact our lives because of our relationship. Their value has nothing to do with fame, fortunate, awards, credentials, or worldly success.
In his fine book, It’s All About the People, my friend, and preaching colleague, Dee Bowman wrote, “Life is about little people. It’s not about the rich and famous, it’s about simple folks…who haven’t made a big splash in life, nor said anything special, or done anything worthy of public praise or honor.”
Our lives are about mothers and fathers. Brothers and sisters. Aunts and uncles. And cousins. In most cases, these folks are unknown outside their communities. But they’ve made a difference in our lives.
People like my first-grade teacher, Mrs. Nicholson. Or my high school coach, Carl Short. Or the preacher and a pastor in my home congregation, Aude McKee, and Thomas Long. Or one of my college professors, Clinton Hamilton. Or an evangelist who encouraged and inspired me, Robert Jackson. My parents, Roy and Mattie Weliever. My faithful wife, Norma Jean. Our children, Kenny and Rachél. And, of course, our four wonderful grandchildren! These people, and many others, unknown to the world, are the ones who’ve really touched my life.
You too have your list of special people who will be forever be remembered. Appreciated. Loved. And valued,
It’s no wonder the Bible has so much to say about relationships. How to treat other people. And the importance of our friends, family, fellow man, and brethren in Christ.
We are urged to “be kind one to another.” (Eph 4:32)
“Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt 22:39)
“Esteem others better than yourself.” (Phil 2:3)
“Forgive one another.” (Col 3:13)
“Be compassionate.” (I Pet 3:8)
“Go the second mile” (Matt 5:41)
“Cherish your wife.” (Eph 5;29)
“Love your husband.” (Titus 2:4)
“Honor your father and mother.” (Eph 6:1-2)
“Love your children.” (Titus 2:4)
“Respect your spiritual leaders.” (1Thess 5:13)
“Love your brethren.: (Heb 13:1)
And of course, the golden rule of all relationships principles was enunciated by Jesus in the Mountain Message “Treat other people the way you want to be treated.” (Matt 7:12)
Today, thank God for the people in your life who make a difference. Who care. Who share. And who are there for you.
Indeed. Life. It’s all about the people.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman