When Something Irreplaceable is Returned

If you were at The Gathering this past weekend, you heard a story I told about my most prized possession – my grandfather’s cane. I bought it after he died at an estate sale for 75 cents over 33 years ago. The sad news was, the cane went missing. In transition from my old position, several of my most prized items went missing; none more important than my grandfather’s cane. I had accepted it as just a part of what had happened and there was no use worrying about it.

But when I used the fact that I had lost it as part of an illustration this past weekend, Debbie Seldon got it on her heart to go find it. And find it, she did. And last night, when we all gathered to help our good friend Steve Lamm in the opening of his brand new studio here in Nashville, Debbie brought it and presented it to me.

I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know how to thank her. I didn’t know how much that simple little cane, that 75-cent possession of mine meant to me. All of the sudden I could remember my grandfather, his smell and what it was like to be with him; how safe I felt, and how wise he seemed in those days.

Thank you, Debbie Seldon, for your initiative. By the way, that’s at the heart of leadership, isn’t it? If you were to ask Debbie if she were a leader, she’d probably say, “no.” She is one of those people who gives tirelessly and does tirelessly, but loves to do it behind the scenes.

But the truth of the matter is, a leader is someone who takes initiative, and Debbie certainly knows how to do that. And because of that, I now can put my grandfather’s cane in a safe place, here in my home where I will be able to enjoy it.

Here is a lesson. Not all good things that are gone, are gone forever. Sometimes they come back. And sometimes they have to come back as God places on the heart of someone else to take initiative to give it back.

Not too many months ago my wife and I went through a major transition where we thought our dream had been stolen from us, taken away. And yet an awful lot of people, whose names you may never know, took the initiative. And today we are part of something more exciting than we’ve been around in a very long time. Lives are being changed and people are having fun. There’s a lot of laughter and a lot of joy. I’m not hung up on structure and procedure and territory. Thank God for freedom!

If you’re enjoying your life today, thank God for those who are the ones who sometimes bring back to you the lost treasure. Tell them so. Let them know.

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