There is one good thing about being “simple minded,” and that is it does not take much to make your day. I have this happen quite often, which probably confirms what you have suspected all along.
That reminds me of the fella who saw his friend “walk on water.” After he saw him do it for the second time, this fella said, “I can do that,” and his friend said, “go ahead.” The moment this fella stepped on the water, he sunk like a rock. With this series of events, this friend said to another man who was standing there, “You think we ought to tell him where the rocks are?” Well, just wanted to see if you are awake.
Today, I want to tell you about a young man named Mike who truly made my day. Mike was working with my friend Charlie Harvey, who came to our house to build us a new deck. The deck is quite large -- about 20 feet by 30 feet -- and it took three of them about 2 ½ weeks to complete it. While I had never met Mike before, during this time I got to know a little about him. He was stout as a mule, a hard worker and had a sweet attitude. I just took a liking to him. After a few days I gave him one of my books and I told him when we shook hands, “You know you are my friend, and I will help you any way I can.”
This opened the door when I saw him smoking, and I had a chance to talk with him about the harmful effects of tobacco. I told him that I had a sister and an uncle who started smoking when they were young and became “chain smokers.” Sadly, they both passed away from lung cancer, many years before their time. Mike did not smoke before, and I am sure he was influenced by the other two workers who smoked. And here is a word that should apply to all smokers. Why would anyone spend up to $6 a pack on something that would kill them years before their time? That’s at least something to think about.
Well, Mike began to read the book I had given him, “Your Future Begins Today,” and I congratulated him because he said he had quit smoking. They finished the deck in a couple of weeks, and it’s beautiful. I did not see Mike anymore for about a month One evening as I was going into Popeye’s chicken, I heard a voice say, “Mr. Jim,” but I did not see anyone. In a minute or so, I heard it again. This time I saw a young man coming my way. It was Mike.
After we greeted each other, I asked him if he had supper. He said “No” and I said, “Come inside with me.” I told the Popeye’s people to give him anything he wanted to eat. He got a nice meal, on me, and I asked him if he had quit smoking. He said, “Yes” and it made me so happy. Mike left, walking to his room that he said was only a few blocks away. While Mike did not know it at the time, and I did not tell him, this encounter with him truly made my day.
Sometimes it’s the little things that mean the most. While I don’t know what Mike’s future is, I hope I have made a little difference in his life. Please think about what I have been saying, and if you don’t already, begin to look for opportunities to make a difference in the lives of other people. God Bless, Jim.
(Jim Davidson is an author, public speaker, syndicated columnist, and Founder of the Bookcase for Every Child project. Since its inception in the Log Cabin Democrat in 1995, Jim’s column has been self-syndicated in over 375 newspapers in 35 states. For a personalized copy of “Your Future Begins Today” send $20, which includes postage and handling, to Jim Davidson, 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)